VICTORVILLE, Calif. –Deputies from the Victorville Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division will be deployed on St. Patrick’s Day to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.
The DUI Saturation Patrol will deploy the evening of March 17, 2020, and continue into the early morning hours of March 18, 2020, in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests, officials said.
According to a sheriff’s news release, “High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured 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.”
Deputies will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. When possible, specially trained deputies will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.
In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. Victorville Police Department 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.
Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more 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, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you are taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
Drivers are encouraged to designate a sober driver or use one of the many driving services available. The cost of a ride home is cheap! Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to Victorville Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.