A long holiday weekend looms – so does stepped-up DUI enforcement in Southern California
The long Labor Day weekend will mark another focused effort by Southern California law enforcement agencies to crack down on drunken and impaired drivers.
From Friday through Monday, all available California Highway Patrol officers will be on duty, on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Local police agencies across the region also plan to be out in force on local streets and roads, with DUI checkpoints set in some cities.
“Impaired driving remains one of our most serious traffic-related problems on our roadways today,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley in the statement.
Law enforcement agencies typically recommend people plan their rides home before going out and drinking. For those who aren’t drinking, some agencies suggest downloading mobile phone apps that can help people find bars that offer free non-alcoholic drinks, food or other incentives to designated drivers.
With fines, penalties, legal fees, restitution and increased insurance costs, even a first-offense, misdemeanor DUI conviction can cost more than $15,000, according to recent data from the Automobile Club of Southern California.
California drivers also can face six-month suspensions of their driving privileges, and DUI convictions can impact drivers’ records for years.
In 2017, police arrested more than 1,000 people on suspicion or drunk driving over the Labor Day weekend, according to the CHP. This year, officers throughout Southern California will once again setup DUI checkpoints at as-of-yet undisclosed locations.
The holiday marks the conclusion of the CHP’s annual “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” campaign, which aims to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the road.
Authorities are also asking the public to aid their efforts by reporting any person suspected or drunk driving to police. If citizens encounter spot motorist that they think may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are urged to pull over and dial 9-1-1 with the location of the sighting and a description of the vehicle in question.