Its Memorial Day Weekend. BBQ, Beer and holiday festivities are on the calendar for families across the United States. Drivers should also be aware, however, that if they are not careful the Memorial Day Weekend could also mean a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, especially with the increased number of sobriety checkpoints across the nation.
According to news agencies throughout the U.S., DUI checkpoint and sobriety checks are being set up to stop drivers and determine if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Regardless of how you may personally feel about unwarranted stops, searches, and seizures, right now they are allowed in some states under specific conditions.
Los Angeles announces sobriety checkpoints across the city
Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the United States, announced this week that they will have a number of sobriety checkpoints in place over this entire weekend. In fact, drivers travelling near Santa Monica Boulevard, Boyle Heights, and Laurel Canyon should be ready to encounter what the police department is calling maximum enforcement. Their efforts will continue across the state from Friday evening until early Monday morning.
Not only will several checkpoints be established, but an increased number of police officers will also be on duty to patrol the freeways and roadways and will stop anyone they believe is intoxicated.
New Jersey cracks down on DUI with sobriety checkpoints
Its not just Los Angeles and California police departments either. New Jersey also made an announcement that at least nineteen towns throughout the state will establish sobriety checkpoints. New Jersey also announced they will have drug recognition experts at the checkpoints to ensure that drivers intoxicated by narcotics are also detected.
Why the Memorial Weekend Push?
Theres no debating that intoxicated driving is a serious problem for states. In fact, according to the Department of Transportation, alcohol-impaired crashes account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths nationwide. The State of California alone reports that they had thirty-one fatalities in their state during the 2015 Memorial Day weekend enforcement period.
States also report that having and publicizing the checkpoints seems to be enough to decrease the number of intoxicated drivers over Memorial Day Weekend. Whether its the increased chance of detection or awareness is not perfectly clear, but DUI checkpoints do seem to be a deterrent against intoxicated driving.
What should I do this weekend?
With the increased options for getting home safely there is no reason that anyone should drink and drive over this holiday weekend. Whether you have to designate a driver, call a taxi, call Uber, ride the subway, call a friend or walk, the increased hassle is nothing compared to the pain and suffering you could cause yourself or others by drinking and driving.
Do not be one of the twenty-seven people who die each day across the United States from an alcohol related accident. DO NOT drink and drive.
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