The Ventura Police Department Traffic Unit scheduled a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint for September 1, 2017, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. 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.
In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Ventura 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.
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. 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.
Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Ventura 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’.
The checkpoint was conducted at 9:00 p.m. and was located on southbound Victoria Ave south of Ralston Street. The checkpoint concluded at 2:45 a.m. and at the conclusion of the Checkpoint, the final results are as follows:
- 662 Vehicle were screened through the Checkpoint
- 32 Field Sobriety Examinations (FST’s) were performed
- 1 person was arrested for DUI out of the Checkpoint
- 1 additional person was arrested for DUI during the Saturation Patrol
- 1 Vehicle was towed for 14601 VC (Suspended Drivers License)
- 6 Drivers were cited for 12500(a) VC (Driving without a Drivers License)
- 4 Drivers were cited for miscellaneous violations