DUI checkpoint planned for this Friday
Atascadero Police Department Traffic Unit in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo County AVOID 14 will be conducting a DUI and drivers license checkpoint on Friday, Aug. 22, at an undisclosed location within the Atascadero city limits between the hours of 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes, according to a press release from the city. 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, it says.
In California, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol led to 802 deaths in 2012 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. “Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 1 life and resulted in 39 injury crashes harming 52 of our friends and neighbors,” said Sgt. Caleb Davis.
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 Administration (NHTSA), 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 DUI checkpoints.
DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations 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, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Atascadero Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.