DUI Checkpoint Planned Friday
The Santa Barbara Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on Friday, March 2, 2018, at undisclosed locations within the city limits between the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Santa Barbara Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety 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 can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
The deterrent effect of High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug impaired crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely.
DUI Checkpoints like this one 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, alcohol involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in 2014 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Over the course of the past three years Santa Barbara PD officers have investigated 464 DUI collisions which have claimed 5 lives and resulted in another 121 injuries.
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.
Studies of California drivers have shown 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’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions 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 Santa Barbara 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’.
Traffic Enforcement Operations Plan for Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Police Department will step up Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations on Monday, March 5, 2018, with focused enforcement on collision causing factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The department has mapped out locations over the past 3 years where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred along with the violations that led to those crashes. Extra officers will be on duty patrolling areas where bike and pedestrian traffic and crashes occur in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers, bike riders and pedestrians alike that can lead to life changing injuries. Special attention will be directed toward drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to stop for signs and signals, failing to yield to pedestrians in cross walks or any other dangerous violation.
Additionally, enforcement will be taken for observed violations when pedestrians cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped and citations issued when they fail to follow the same traffic laws that apply to motorists. All riders are reminded to always wear a helmet – those under 18 years of age must wear helmets by law. Pedestrians should cross the street only in marked crosswalks or at corners.
Bicycle and pedestrian fatalities are rising in California as more people use these non-motorized means of transportation. Locally, the Santa Barbara Police Department has investigated 5 fatal and 553 injury collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists during the past three (3) years. In 2013, California witnessed 701 pedestrians and 141 bicyclists killed, accounting for more than 28 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.