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Santa Monica Police to Conduct Checkpoint This Weekend


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By Lookout Staff

June 28, 2018 -- DUI once applied almost exclusively to drunk drivers but today twice as many California motorists are under the influence of drugs than of alcohol.

This weekend, Santa Monica Police will be screening for drivers under the influence of drugs, as well as alcohol, when they conduct a DUI checkpoint on Friday.

The checkpoint will be held at an undisclosed location within the city limits between 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

"In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes," Santa Monica Police said in a statement.

"The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that 'DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.'”

A study of active California drivers found that 14 percent tested positive for drugs that may impair driving, double the 7.3 percent that tested positive for alcohol.

Some 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes in California had one or more drugs in their systems, studies have shown.

"If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI," said Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the Police Department spokesman.

"Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI."

In 2014, collisions involving the use of alcohol led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in California, police said.

Over the past three years, SMPD officers have investigated 163 DUI collisions, which have claimed two lives and resulted in another 56 injuries, police said

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone.

"The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more," police said.

The app includes social media tie-ins, as well as a tab for the non-designated driver to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect a DUI arrest that can lead to jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and "other expenses that can exceed $10,000, not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out," police said.

Funding for the checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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