Paso Robles News|Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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DUI saturation patrols planned for Cinco de Mayo in Atascadero 


-In the United States, the Cinco de Mayo holiday is often associated with parties and alcohol. If you’re celebrating with friends and family this weekend, remember that at the end of the night, you need to have a safe and sober ride home. Police, Sheriff and the CHP will be out in force looking for the tell-tail sign of impaired driving this weekend.

The Atascadero Police Department will deploy additional officers on special DUI Saturation Patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment.

In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes.  The Atascadero Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”  If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.  Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and when you drive impaired, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else. You will be looking at jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car or motorcycle towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. The average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn’t you rather pay for a ride home?

There are many other ways to ensure a safe ride home besides relying on a friend. The OTS DDVIP app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The app offers enhanced features, allowing users to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Additionally, the app users can easily order a sober ride from Uber or Lyft.

On average in 2016, someone was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes. On Cinco de Mayo weekend, that equaled 51 lives lost in drunk-driving crashes in the nation. So, if you choose to drink this Cinco de Mayo, make sure you have a designated sober driver or have arranged another safe way home. Decide today that you won’t ever drive after drinking or impaired by drugs. If you know someone who is about to drive buzzed or ‘high’, step in and help. Take their keys and help them make arrangements to get home safely.

A final statistic to remember: drunk-driving deaths are 100-percent preventable.

This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and remember – Report Drunk Drivers – call 911.

The next statewide DUI campaign is set for Independence Day.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.