The California Highway Patrol will conduct a DUI checkpoint in Goleta on Friday. The checkpoint is part of a statewide holiday crackdown on intoxicated drivers in an effort to make streets safer.
“As a person that was in law enforcement for 30 years, I participated in many checkpoints and I saw firsthand how effective they can be in removing impaired drivers from the streets,” Goleta Mayor Roger Aceves said. “The real goal, though, is to not drink and drive. Designate a driver before you go out.”
2007 was the first year since 1998 that the number of alcohol-related fatalities had dropped. The drop in the number of alcohol-related deaths is being attributed to efforts such as the DUI checkpoints and the number of people who call 9-1-1 to report an intoxicated driver.
“California has worked very hard in the past five years to reverse the trend of increasing alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” California Office of Transportation Safety Director Christopher Murphy said. “Through an aggressive combination of various anti-DUI operations, including sobriety checkpoints, together with the public calling 9-1-1 when they see a drunk driver, we’re getting these dangerous drivers off the road.”
Funding for this program comes from a grant from the OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The public is encouraged to call 9-1-1 to report drunken drivers and be ready to describe the vehicle, its location and direction of travel. The following clues can help motorists detect a drunken driver:
» Weaving/swerving in and out of the lane
» Weaving within the lane quite noticeably
» Traveling at speeds much slower than the flow of traffic
» Braking erratically or stopping in the lane
» Sudden stops for signal lights and slow start once they change
» Remaining at the signal lights once they turn green — asleep at the wheel
» Making wide turns and/or cutting the corner, striking the curb
» Headlights off at night or on high beams
» Driving with the turn signals on
» Straddling the center line of the road or lane lines
» The driver looks intoxicated — staring straight ahead, face close to the windshield and appears to be quite sleepy
» Aggressive driving — speed, tailgating and multiple lane changes or unsafe passing may also be the tell-tale signs of intoxication.