Law Enforcement will be deploying officers this holiday weekend at Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Drivers License Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols countywide to arrest impaired drivers who still don’t get the message.
Memorial Day weekend witnesses the start of summertime recreation and holiday travel, along with many college and high school graduations seeing thousands celebrate their accomplishments.
“The next 100 days will also see a rise in deaths and injuries as far too many individuals get behind the wheel impaired,” reports a South Lake Tahoe organization.
The enforcement campaign begins Friday night, including in Malibu as the Sheriff’s Station plans a DUI and Drivers License checkpoint today between 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Sheriffs will be at undisclosed locations throughout Malibu.
“The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes,” says Malibu-Lost Hills. “Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20-percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. Deputies will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. They will also check drivers for proper licensing.”
Specially trained officers will be on duty to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, warns the Sheriff’s station.
“Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes or other expenses that can exceed $10,000,” says the Sheriff’s Station. “In Malibu over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed two lives and resulted in 22 injury crashes harming 28 individuals. Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to the City of Malibu, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to continue to work together to bring an end to these tragedies.”
Chris Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety commented, “Sobriety Checkpoints are a proven deterrent along with the ‘High Visibility’ enforcement campaigns to change behavior such as drunk driving, driving unrestrained and driving distracted. Drivers who know that there is a Zero Tolerance when it comes to drunk driving take measures to use a Designated Sober Driver and call 9-1-1 to report a suspected drunk driver weaving down the road ahead of them.”
Law enforcement region-wide are asking for your support this holiday weekend and all summer:
• Be responsible when hosting a party and don’t allow friends and family to drink to exces;
•Always promote a Designated Sober Driver;
•Report Drunk Drivers, Call 911!
Alcohol is not the only substance abuse problem unsuspecting drivers face this Memorial Day. Designer drugs evade most current workplace screening programs, yet present the new face of drug abuse, warns the 2013 International Council On Drugs, Alcohol And Traffic Safety, which will this summer hold its annual conference.
“The Designer Drugs Session to be held in conjunction with the conference will profile synthetic cannabinoids as the new face of drug abuse, investigate the epidemiological background on the latest new drugs, present case studies on driver intoxication and unveil new ways for screening and confirmation of the presence of these new drugs in drugged drivers,” writes the Council on its upcoming conference.
The event is to be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on August 25-28, 2013.
Designer drugs are a synthetic analog of an illegal drug concocted to outwit drug laws. They are the so-called fashionable artificial drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs), sometimes referred to as synthetic marijuana, are designer drugs of abuse typically dissolved in a solvent, applied to dried plant material and smoked as an alternative to marijuana, reports the Center For Disease Control (CDC).
“The term designer drug originally referred to legal pharmaceuticals companies that produced analogues of certain legal drugs to make them safer, more effective, or more readily available through mass production. In the 1980s, it was applied to illegal substances when the use of synthetic heroins such as fentanyl became widespread. In either usage, the term echoed advertisements for designer jeans and carried connotations of the faddishness, and the elite cachet of expensive consumer goods,” cites the Encyclopedia Britannica. “Designer drugs, in popular usage, are illegal synthetic, laboratory-made chemicals. Although the term is not precisely defined, it is understood to refer to commonly abused drugs such as fentanyl, ketamine, LSD, PCP, quaaludes, methcathinone and GHB (gammahydroxy butyrate), as well as to amphetamine derivatives such as Ecstasy (3,4, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine; MDMA) and methamphetamines. Designer drugs constitute a substantial proportion of the illegal drug market.”
Malibu-Lost Hills announced, too, additional safety enforcement beginning this Memorial Day weekend. First, the start of the Sheriff’s Department’s successful summer beach team deployment. Second, the kickoff of the national Click It or Ticket seat belt law campaign.
“Deputies will be looking for, and citing, motorists who are not belted,” warns the Sheriff’s Station. “According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52-percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Deaths involving seat belt non-use are more prevalent at night than during the daytime. According to NHTSA, 62-percent of the 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2011 during the overnight hours were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.”
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 2011, approximately 9,878 people were killed and approximately 350,000 were injured nationwide due to drunk driving.
“Each crash, each death, each injury impacts not only the person in the crash, but family, friends, classmates, coworkers and more. Even those who have not been directly touched help pay the $132-billion yearly price tag of drunk driving,” reports MADD.
California ranks 15th among those states with the lowest percentage of DUI related deaths, according to statistics contained in the May 2011 SAMHSA Report to Congress on The Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking. The number of three-time offenders in statistics available for 2011 in the Golden State was 310,971 and five-time offenders, 44,210. DUI Fatalities reachef 774, and the percentage of total DUI related traffic deaths reached 28-percent, a zero-percent change from previous years for California. The state’s subsidy of drunk driving fatalities reached $4.9-billion, according to the same statistics available for the year 2011.
Due to changes in California’s DUI laws, the state requires ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in four counties covering a populations of 13-million people: Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare. The DMV is required to impose an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) restriction on the driving privilege of a person convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license for a DUI conviction uner California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§14601.2, 14601.4 or 14601.5.
“An IID is larger than a cell phone and is wired to a vehicle’s ignition. The IID can be installed in a vehicle while you wait, and after installation, it requires your breath sample before the engine will start,” says the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). “If the IID detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will not start. As you drive, you are periodically required to provide breath samples to ensure the continued absence of alcohol in your system.”
According to madlaw.com, the Website for criminal defense attorney Mark A. Davis, an attorney who represents immigrants facing deportation, DUI checkpoints lead to more than just alcohol and drug-related criminal consequences for California drivers.
“The purpose of sobriety checkpoints seems straightforward: to reduce the number of drunk drivers on California highways and prevent death and injury resulting from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In at least one area of California, though, state-financed DUI checkpoints also contribute to the removal of hundreds of undocumented immigrants annually,” writes Davis.