‘Drive sober or get pulled over’

‘Drive sober or get pulled over’By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

The Ridgecrest Police Department announced a DUI checkpoint on Friday, Aug. 28 – the second DUI operation this month. The checkpoint will be at an undisclosed location within city limits from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Checkpoint locations are chosen based on a history of DUI crashes and arrests. The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving impaired. During the checkpoint, officers will look for signs that drivers are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“With the easing of stay-at-home restrictions and more bars and restaurants being allowed to open, RPD is committed to keeping the public safe,” said RPD Sgt. Tony Brown. “The safety of our community is and always will be our mission. We are out there in the middle of a pandemic because driving under the influence is still dangerous and puts a further strain on critical resources.”

An RPD checkpoint two weeks prior netted 4 DUI arrests as well as 6 others for driving without a license or with a suspended license. More than 450 vehicles passed through the checkpoint.

The department reminds the public that impaired does not only mean under the influence of alcohol, but can include driving while taking some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs.

“Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about driving or ‘operating heavy machinery,’ which includes driving a car,” said an RPD release. “While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.”

Drivers charged with a DUI reportedly face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Story First Published: 2020-08-28