The Santa Barbara Police Department will be conducting a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint between 6 p.m. Jan. 11 and 2 a.m. Jan. 12 at an undisclosed location within city limits.
The checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, while also ensuring motorists are properly licensed, Anthony Wagner, police spokesman, said in a news release.
Police remind motorists that DUI charges do not always occur as a result of drinking. Those who take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, may also be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana consumption can also result in a DUI, Mr. Wagner said.
In 2017, 1,120 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes on California roads. Last year, the Santa Barbara Police Department investigated a total of 136 DUI collisions, which resulted in 51 injuries.
Police advise to always use a designated sober driver, whether it be a friend who is not drinking, a ride-share company, cab or public transportation, to get home. Locals are also reminded to take the keys away from someone who is clearly impaired and trying to drive, and those who host parties should offer non-alcoholic drinks to motorists who are not drinking.
“Getting home safely is cheap, but getting a DUI is not,” Mr. Wagner said. “Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13,500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses not to mention possible jail time.”
Funding for the checkpoint is provided to the police department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.