SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Driver License Checkpoint on Friday, April 18, according to a press release from Sgt. Jay Moroso. The checkpoint will take place at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.

The DUI checkpoints have proven to be successful in decreasing the number of people killed and injured in alcohol or drug related crashes. Research has shown the publicly displayed DUI Checkpoints or routine patrols can decrease a crash by an impaired driver by 20 percent. In 2012, the state of California saw more than 802 deaths because of impaired drivers. On the National level, the latest data shows that more than 10,000 people were killed by an impaired driver.

“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions in Santa Monica have claimed 1 life and resulted in 67 injury crashes harming 95 of our friends and neighbors,” said Sergeant Rubish.

Officers will be on the lookout for any signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, as well as proper license credentials. The checkpoint is only expected to cause a momentary delay for motorists. When possible, specially trained officials will be available to examine individuals suspected of drug-impaired driving.

Recent statistics have shown that more than 30 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. “A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol,” states the press release.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have indicated that checkpoints provide an effective tool to document results of any DUI enforcement strategies and have yielded substantial cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. More than 90 percent of all California drivers approve DUI checkpoints.

The checkpoints occur in areas based on collision statistics and the frequency of DUI arrests that aim to provide the greatest opportunity to achieve drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Safety considerations are taken into account for officers and the public for locations for the DUI checkpoints. Drivers who are found to be impaired behind the wheel can face a DUI arrest which can include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, as well as the embarrassment of the news getting out to family and friends.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Santa Monica Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver Call 9-1-1.’