RPDPS schedules DUI checkpoint tonight
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By Dave Williams  May 23, 2014 12:00 am

Holiday weekends tend to see increases in the amount of impaired drivers, and the Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety is expecting no different this Memorial Day weekend.

That’s why RPDPS Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint tonight, May 23, at an undisclosed location within Rohnert Park city limits between the hours of 7 p.m.-3 a.m.

DUI checkpoints have proved effective in helping decrease the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol- or drug-related crashes. Research has shown crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.

“Our goal is to get the word out to the public before they make the decision to drive impaired,” said Sgt. Aaron Johnson, head of the RPDPS Traffic Unit. “Regardless of a driver’s blood alcohol content, if you are going to drink, get a driver. Why take a chance that will affect you for the rest of your life?”

Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Officers will also check drivers for proper licensing and will do their best 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 time, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000. 

More than 10,000 people in 2010 were killed nationally in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. In California, this deadly crime led to 791 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver.

“In a one-year period from December 2012 to December 2013, over 140 people were arrested for DUI in Rohnert Park,” Johnson said. “This is unacceptable.”

In early 2014, a passenger was killed in a car crash in Rohnert Park where alcohol is suspected to be a factor. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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. Based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, DUI checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety 

considerations for the officers and the public. 

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to RPDPS by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Anyone who sees a suspected drunk driver is encouraged to call 911.

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