According to a press release from Gilroy PD, the deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of people killed and injured in alcohol or drug related 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.
In California, DUI crimes led to 802 deaths in 2012 because someone failed to designate a sober driver, police said. Nationwide, the latest data shows impaired drivers killed nearly 10,000 people.
At the Dec. 13 checkpoint in Gilroy, officers will look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment as well as proper licensing. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to police.
Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems, reads the press release. 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 DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.
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.
“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 from Gilroy Police.
Funding for the 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.