SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driver’s License Checkpoint on March 16 at an undisclosed location within city limits between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

According to a press release from the SMPD, the state of California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes in recent years. The SMPD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to inform all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Taking prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, can impair the motorist enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also impair driving, when taken with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

In 2014, alcohol involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries because someone failed to designate a sober driver in the state of California. In the past 3 years, SMPD officers investigated 163 DUI collisions where two resulted in deaths and over 56 injuries.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, and checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily, when possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug impaired driving, which accounts for a rising number of impaired driving crashes.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include 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.

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’.