Weekend DUI checkpoint to be held

DJ Becker/The Madera Tribune

Madera police officers stop and speak with motorists in December on Gateway Drive at a driver’s license and sobriety checkpoint. The checkpoint netted two drivers allegedly under the influence of alcohol, among other violations.

The Madera Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Saturday, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

DUI checkpoints like this are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing.

The Madera Police Department reminds drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

In 2017, 1,120 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes on California roads. Last year, the Madera Police Department investigated 44 DUI collisions, which have claimed 1 life and resulted in another 28 injuries.

The Madera Police Department offers these reminders to ensure you have a safe night of fun that doesn’t involve a DUI:

• Always use a designated sober driver — a friend who is not drinking, ride-share, cab or public transportation — to get home.

• See someone who is clearly impaired try and drive? Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to find a sober way home.

• Report drunk drivers — call 911.

• Hosting a party? Offer nonalcoholic drinks. Monitor those who are drinking and how they are getting home.

Getting home safely is cheap, but getting a DUI is not. Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13,500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses, not to mention jail time.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Madera Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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