The California Highway Patrol, Madera Area, working in conjunction with the Madera Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Driver License Checkpoint beginning June 1 at an undisclosed location within the county from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., June 2.
Checkpoints serve three purposes — deterrence, removal of drunk drivers from the road, and public education. The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.
The law and common sense make it absolutely clear that driving any vehicle (including recreational vehicles) or a boat after drinking is a critical mistake. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in alcohol-involved collisions in California during the past three years (2016-2018). During that same time, nearly 80,000 others were injured, statewide under similar circumstances. More than one-third of all traffic-related deaths in California involved alcohol. Just last year, Madera Area CHP officers made 765 DUI arrests, of which 125 were arrested out of a traffic collision. Of the 14 fatal collisions handled by Madera Area CHP, five were a result of DUI drivers.
Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing. These checks will only delay motorists momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers 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.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.
DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.
The Automobile Club of Southern California estimates that a first offense misdemeanor DUI conviction in California for an adult age 21 or older can cost approximately $15,688 or more in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees and increased insurance costs.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone if you see an impaired driver, call 911.