Several things we can expect over the holiday season including champagne, family, friends, Christmas presents and increased DUI enforcement. According to several cities, police forces throughout the nation are ramping up their plans to enforce drunk driving policies. In some states increased DUI enforcement means drivers can expect more staged sobriety checkpoints and an increased saturation of law enforcement patrols.
In California the California Highway Patrol has reported on Friday night, there will be increased DUI enforcement including at least a “half dozen law enforcement agencies staged sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in cities across the region, from Petaluma to Brentwood and San Mateo to Fairfield.”
Law enforcement officers hope to convey one message to the public: there are severe consequences for drinking and driving in the state of California. Police note, however, that revelers attending seasonal parties should by now be well aware of the risks.
Parties may be bigger than ever in 2014
One trend that some hotel operators have noted is more businesses are hosting parties outside their offices this year. For many companies it will be the first time in several years. Business parties are one way companies tell their employees they appreciate the hard work of their employees. And although this is a sentiment that employees always welcome, increased celebrations come with a risk.
Police are issuing an alert to partiers- if you consume more than you usually do, you need to develop a plan BEFORE you go to an event. Plans can include having a designated driver or calling a taxi, but do not wait until the end of an event to decide if you can drive or not.
DUI enforcement efforts in California
If you don’t have a plan and you live in California, you might be intercepted by a staged sobriety check point. For instance, one sobriety checkpoint was staged in the Ingleside District at Randall and San Jose streets. It aimed to intercept impaired drivers before they got to the 101 Freeway. It started at 9 p.m. and was scheduled to run until 4 a.m.
Other counties such as Monterey and San Benito will also begin their increased DUI enforcement plans on Friday. They have received special funding for increased DUI enforcement, including a $212,787 grant, to coordinate increased DUI saturation patrols. Police in this area have seen over 120 arrests during their previous winter campaigns, but they hope that figure will drop substantially this year.
Drivers who avoid drinking and driving not only save money. They can also avoid death, injury, costs of property damage and broken hearts. Not to mention the time and money of fighting a DUI arrest. Studies have shown a DUI fatality may have a $1.4 million impact, an injury $70,000, and a crash that only damages property averages nearly $9,000. That’s a lot of costs which could be avoided with a few smart decisions.
Police are also encouraging anyone who sees a drunk driving to call 911 and report them to the police. This can be done not only in California but across the United States.
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