The Hollister Police Department warns motorists and other revelers not to drive in an impaired state this holiday weekend, and have scheduled a July 4 traffic checkpoint to help remind people.
The July 4 DUI and driver’s license checkpoint will take place 6pm to 1:30am at an undisclosed location in the city limits, says a press release from Hollister Police.
The police department will also have additional officers on patrol over the Fourth of July three-day weekend, looking for suspected impaired motorists.
“In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes,” says the press release. “Hollister PD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all 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.”
Law enforcement authorities say the deterrent effect of highly visible enforcement with DUI checkpoints and extra officers, or “saturation patrols,” on the streets have proven to reduce the number of fatalities in alcohol- or drug-impaired crashes. “Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely,” police said.
The July 4 checkpoint will take place in a location based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, says the press release. Officers will look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment and check for proper licensing. When possible, specially trained officers will evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.
“Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication—whether prescription or over-the-counter—drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects,” says the press release from Hollister PD.
Studies in California have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their system, according to police.
The press release offered the following reminders to help Independence Day celebrants avoid a DUI charge:
– Decide before you go out whether you plan to drink or drive. You can’t do both.
– If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver before going out or map out another safe way to get home by taxi, ride-share or public transportation. You can also look up designated driver services in your area using the National Directory of Designated Driver Services (NDDDS).
– See your friend or other patron impaired trying to get behind the wheel? Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.
– Report drunk drivers by calling 911.
People are encouraged to be a part of the designated driver very important person (“DDVIP”) program, the press release adds. As a DDVIP, you can ensure that those who are drinking get home safely, and even get rewarded for it.
Partnering bars and restaurants statewide have created non-alcoholic specialty drinks (“DDrinks”) for sober drivers: http://bit.ly/OTSDDrinks.
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, police said. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses, in addition to possible jail time.
Funding for the checkpoint is provided to the Hollister Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Slow down, stay safe
Motorists who plan to follow all the laws should also be careful on the roads this weekend, as heavy holiday traffic volumes are likely to contribute to unsafe conditions, police said.
According to AAA Southern California, travel volumes in the state are expected to be above pre-pandemic levels before 2020 and 46.1% than last year’s July 4. Allow extra time to get to your destination.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 36 people were killed in collisions during the Fourth of July Maximum Enforcement Period from July 3 to July 7 last year. CHP officers also arrested more than 1,300 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.