The Long Beach Police Department’s Traffic Section will conduct a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday, March 11, 2016, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., in the West Division.
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 an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20% when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely. 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.
In California, this deadly crime led to 867 deaths and over 23,000 serious injuries in 2013 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows over 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. Over the course of the past three years in Long Beach, officers have investigated 1,032 DUI collisions, which claimed seven lives and resulted in another 370 injuries.
Officers will look 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, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving collisions.
Recent statistics reveal 30% 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%) than did for alcohol (7.3%). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4%, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
Law enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving, reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. The California Office of Traffic Safety Designated Driver VIP (DDVIP) mobile app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from one of several ride sharing services offered – all from one screen.
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, not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Long Beach Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.