The Hollister Police Department will hold a DUI checkpoint May 5 at an undisclosed location within the city limits, according to authorities. The checkpoint will take place from 6pm to 1:30am.
The goal of the checkpoint is to deter alcohol and drug-impaired driving, the latter of which has shown a “disturbing increase” on California roadways in recent years, says a press release from the Hollister PD.
“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,” says the press release. “Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.”
High visibility enforcement efforts like DUI checkpoints and “saturation patrols” have proven to have a deterrent effect that reduces the number of people killed and injured in collisions where a driver is impaired, says the press release. Research has shown that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20% when police conduct well-publicized DUI operations.
“DUI checkpoints like this one (on May 5) are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence,” says the press release. “Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.”
Officers conducting the checkpoint will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, authorities said. If possible, officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Authorities warned drivers that when taking certain medications, drinking even small amounts of alcohol can intensify the impairment effects.
Recent studies have shown that 30% of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems, the press release continues. A study of active drivers showed more motorists 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.
People are encouraged to participate in the Designated Driver Very Important Person (DDVIP) program, police said. As a DDVIP, drivers can ensure that those drinking get home safely and be rewarded for doing so.
Police added that a DUI charge can be expensive, with the cost approaching $13,500 including fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses—“not to mention possible jail time,” the press release says.
Funding for the May 5 checkpoint is provided to the Hollister Police Department by San Benito County Behavioral Health Services.