(a) (1) A peace officer, as described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may stop a vehicle transporting agricultural irrigation supplies that are in plain view to inspect the bills of lading, shipping, or delivery papers, or other evidence to determine whether the driver is in legal possession of the load, if the vehicle is on a rock road or unpaved road that is located in a county that has elected to implement this section and the road is located as follows:
(A) Located under the management of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the State Lands Commission, a regional park district, the United States Forest Service, or the federal Bureau of Land Management.
(B) Located within the respective ownership of a timberland production zone, as defined in Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 51100) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code, either that is larger than 50,000 acres or for which the owner of more than 2,500 acres has given express written permission for a vehicle to be stopped within that zone pursuant to this section.
(2) Upon reasonable belief that the driver of the vehicle is not in legal possession, the law enforcement officer specified in paragraph (1) shall take custody of the vehicle and load and turn them over to the custody of the sheriff of the county that has elected to implement this section where the agricultural irrigation supplies are apprehended.
(b) The sheriff shall receive and provide for the care and safekeeping of the apprehended agricultural irrigation supplies that were in plain view within the boundaries of public lands under the management of the entities listed in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) or on a timberland production zone as specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and immediately, in cooperation with the department, proceed with an investigation and its legal disposition.
(c) An expense incurred by the sheriff in the performance of his or her duties under this section shall be a legal charge against the county.
(d) Except as provided in subdivision (e), a peace officer shall not cause the impoundment of a vehicle at a traffic stop made pursuant to subdivision (a) if the driver’s only offense is a violation of Section 12500.
(e) During the conduct of pulling a driver over in accordance with subdivision (a), if the peace officer encounters a driver who is in violation of Section 12500, the peace officer shall make a reasonable attempt to identify the registered owner of the vehicle. If the registered owner is present, or the peace officer is able to identify the registered owner and obtain the registered owner’s authorization to release the motor vehicle to a licensed driver during the vehicle stop, the vehicle shall be released to either the registered owner of the vehicle if he or she is a licensed driver or to the licensed driver authorized by the registered owner of the vehicle. If a notice to appear is issued, the name and the driver’s license number of the licensed driver to whom the vehicle was released pursuant to this subdivision shall be listed on the officer’s copy of the notice to appear issued to the unlicensed driver. If a vehicle cannot be released, the vehicle shall be removed pursuant to subdivision (p) of Section 22651, whether a notice to appear has been issued or not.
(f) For purposes of this section, “agricultural irrigation supplies” include agricultural irrigation water bladder and one-half inch diameter or greater irrigation line.
(g) This section shall be implemented only in a county where the board of supervisors adopts a resolution authorizing the enforcement of this section.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 169. (SB 1304) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018