Newport Beach Police Department
The Newport Beach Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on Friday, January 29, 2016 at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 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. 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. 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 nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. “Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed three lives and resulted in 115 injury crashes harming 157 of our friends and neighbors,” said Sgt. Rachel Johnson.
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, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.
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. Everyone should be mindful that, if you are taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol in combination with your medication can greatly intensify impairment.
Law enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving. All it takes is a little planning ahead: designate a sober driver, take public transportation or a car service, or call a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home. But, whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. One tool that can help this holiday season is the California Office of Traffic Safety’s DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app, which is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location in order to find DDVIP-partnering establishments in their area, or scan a “List of Spots” to find all participating bars and restaurants in California. Designated sober drivers are offered free incentives at each bar to thank them for their life-saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest news from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via the “Social” tab. The app also offers those who want to imbibe to order a sober ride home from Uber, Lyft, or Curb – all from one screen.
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 the Newport 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 Driver – Call 9-1-1.’