Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern at a
town hall in Hayward in June.

Starting last Labor Day weekend, Alameda County sheriff’s deputies staffed various DUI checkpoints in an effort to discourage holiday drinking and driving.

To pay any overtime associated with the operation and two others slated during the Christmas holiday season and Memorial Day weekend next year, Sheriff Gregory Ahern is asking the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to tap in federal asset forfeiture funding.

Ahern is proposing Tuesday morning that the board release $196,400 in asset forfeiture funding to pay the resulting overtime of his officers. The fund, according to the county records, contains around $1.6 million in funds taken from individuals suspected of a crime.

However, the use of the program is highly controversial, say civil rights experts, because in many cases the seizure of funds comes without any due process and never returned even when a crime is later not found to be committed.

Use of the funding, however, must be only used in conjunction with some type of law enforcement-related activity. In this case, paying overtime costs for deputies manning DUI checkpoints.