ESCONDIDO–The Escondido Police Department Traffic Bureau will be conducting a DUI Sobriety and Driver’s License Checkpoint on Saturday.
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. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
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 an impaired driving. “Last year in Escondido, there were 99 victims injured in these tragic crashes, with two of those being fatalities”, according to Lt. Murphy.
Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Officers will also check drivers for proper licensing and will strive to delay 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 program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.