DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint planned

Submitted by the

Ridgecrest Police Department

The Ridgecrest Police Depart-ment Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint Feb. 14, at an undisclosed location in city limits between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol- or drug-involved crashes.

Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.

In California this deadly crime led to 774 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by impaired driving.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily.

When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis-tration checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of SUI checkpoints.

Locations of DUI checkpoints are based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the NHTSA, reminding everyone to “Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1.”

Story First Published: 2014-02-05