Visalia CHP to conduct DUI checkpoint tonight
The Visalia-area California Highway Patrol will be conducting a driving under the influence and driver’s license checkpoint today, between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m., somewhere within the unincorporated area of Tulare County.
Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Officers will also check drivers for proper licensing and will try to delay motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
The CHP reports that 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 alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
According to the CHP, in 2011, nearly 10,000 people were killed nationally in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. In California, the crime led to 774 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver, the CHP reports.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 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. “DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed since 2006 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, in a press release issued Wednesday. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, [Visalia] needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that checkpoints provide.”