Police to conduct Aug. 23 DUI checkpoint

Exact location currently undisclosed

The Gilroy Police Department Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI and drivers license Checkpoint Aug. 23 at an undisclosed location within the city limits.

“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,” reads a press release from Gilroy Police Department. “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.”

In California, DUI incidents led to 802 deaths in 2012, according to authorities.

At the Aug. 23 checkpoint, officers will look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment and check drivers for proper licensing, police said. The checkpoint will delay motorists “only momentarily.” Specially trained officers will be evaluating those suspected of drug-impaired driving, the police press release added.

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.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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, police said. 

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, according to police. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

“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,” reads the press release.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Gilroy Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Police advise motorists to call 911 if they see a potentially impaired driver on the roads. 

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