Anyone who is thinking about having a drink and driving in East Palo Alto today should think twice. The East Palo Alto Police Department is conducting a sobriety and drivers license checkpoint on Friday, February 8, 2013, at University Avenue and Bay Road.
The checkpoint runs for 4-6 hours from 10 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. Uniformed officers will be checking for alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers in all traffic flowing through the checkpoint. Officers will also check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver’s license.
Funding for the East Palo Alto sobriety and drivers license checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The East Palo Alto Police Department said that the the checkpoint is designed to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, and deter potential impaired and unlicensed drivers.
According to statistics released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the DUI arrest rate per 100,000 licensed drivers fell from 993 in 1997 to 863 in 2007. But the alcohol-involved fatalities increased from 1,100 to 1,489 during the same period. See California DUI Fact Sheet here.
The potential costs to those arrested for drunk driving can be considerable. One study shows that when one includes court costs, attorneys' fees, traffic school, fines and other associated costs, a drunk driving arrest can result in the arrested driver paying up to $10,000. See The Cost of a DUI.
Those who drink alcohol are advised to know the effects of alcohol before drinking, be familiar with the law, be responsible, choose a designated driver, call a taxi or take public transportation - anything other than to drink and drive.
Given the potential for accidents and the potential for an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the long term results of drinking and driving can be painful and expensive.
Traci Moore, the author of this article, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.