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Santa Monica Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint Friday

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By Lookout Staff

June 2, 2014 – Santa Monica police will conduct a DIU and driver’s license checkpoint Friday between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. at an undisclosed location in the bayside city, police announced Friday.

Crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by as much as 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely, research has shown.

“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,” said Jay Moroso, the Police Department spokesman.

In 2012, impaired drivers were responsible for 802 deaths in California and nearly 10,000 deaths were attributed nationwide to motorists driving under the influence, according to the latest data..

Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions in Santa Monica have claimed one life and resulted in 67 injury crashes harming 95 of our friends and neighbors, said Sgt. Phillbo Rubish.

“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,” police said.

“Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public,” police said. “When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.”

Recent statistics show that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems, according to the authorities. 

A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for illegal drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

Checkpoints have proven to be the most effective DUI enforcement strategy and save $6 for every $1 spent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.

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.

Those who plan to drink should have a designated driver or call a taxi cab, said police officials.

Funding for the operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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