DUI checkpoint planned for this weekend

DUI crackdown

The Gilroy Police Department’s Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint from 9 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city limits.

The goal is to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug-related crashes. Crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough, research shows.

Officers will check for signs of alcohol or drug impairment and will also verify licenses. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, insurance increases and fines. Expenses can exceed $10,000.

In 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed nationally in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher.

During the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 791 lives and injured more than 24,000 across the state, law enforcement officials say. Gilroy has had two fatalities and 12 injuries as a result of DUI related collisions in 2012, said Sergeant Kurt Ashley, Gilroy Department’s Traffic Division supervisor.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 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. Based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

“DUI Checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed since 2006 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, the City of Gilroy needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that checkpoints provide.”

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