Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies with the Traffic Unit are planning a DUI and drivers license checkpoint Friday, at an undisclosed location within city limits.
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The checkpoints take place between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.
The checkpoints are selected based on a metric that determines where most drunken driving takes place, and deputies then select a spot based on areas that are safest for drivers and officers, officials said.
Deputies will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and drug impairment.
DUI Checkpoints along with regularly scheduled high visibility DUI enforcement serves as a proven deterrent with the goal of removing impaired drivers and heightened awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to Sheriff’s Station officials.
While there has been some controversy surrounding their effectiveness, advocates point to that very discussion as part of the success of a sobriety checkpoint.
“The point of a checkpoint is to deter primarily and to enforce the law when required. Sobriety
checkpoints are higher visibility and raise the perceived risk of getting caught more than do
roving patrols or saturation patrols,” according to a statement from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “This means they deter more people from committing the crime of drunk driving and thus save more lives.”
Opponents question the low number of arrests, but Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies want people to let others know that there will be a checkpoint, which is why the checkpoint is announced, but the location is not promoted, officials said.
“We know that as soon as we start putting out those orange cones, people who see them will start getting on their phones and letting other people know,” said Sheriff’s Station Capt. Paul Becker in a recent interview. “That’s OK, we want that conversation and we hope that it stops people who might be thinking about drinking and driving.”
In 2010 alone, 791 died in California DUI crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to state figures.
The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes was the 21-24 age group.
Over the past three years, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s has investigated 212 fatal and injury DUI collision; countywide – 730 individuals were killed in drunk-driving wrecks.
The objective is to send a clear message to those who are considering driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs: if you drive buzzed, drunk, or impaired by drugs you will go to jail.
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, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
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Source: Santa Clarita News