Impaired Drivers to Receive Added Attention From Police During The Holiday Season

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This holiday season, the Long Beach Police Department will be out in force cracking down on impaired drivers with special DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints. A checkpoint is scheduled for Saturday, December 14, 2013, in East Long Beach, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., to help keep roads safe for holiday travelers.

The Long Beach Police Department is giving fair warning to all partygoers. “In addition to DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints, you will also see us making lots of traffic stops during this highly visible enforcement period,” said Lieutenant Kris Klein.  “If we suspect anyone is driving while under the influence, officers will show zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving.”

Unfortunately, the excitement and celebrations of the holiday season can lead to terrible decisions – and serious legal consequences.  Data shows that the holiday season is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads and the Long Beach Police Department is prepared to stop and arrest any drunk driver they see to keep roads safe.

Nationally, in the five years from 2007 to 2011, there were 4,169 people killed during the month of December in crashes that involved drivers with Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) of .08% or higher.  In California during those same five Decembers, 505 were killed and thousands seriously injured.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent (9,878) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.  Californians witnessed a total of 2,835 deaths with 774 killed in DUI crashes on their streets and highways.

Drunk drivers often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, to lost wages due to time off from work.  Even worse, a drunk driver can cause a traffic crash that claims someone’s life, or their own.

Please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:

  • Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk – or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.
  • If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving.  Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.
  • Be responsible.  If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement.  Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.

Remember, it is never safe to drink and drive:  Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Funding for this Checkpoint provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reminds everyone: Report Drunk Drivers!  Call 9-1-1.

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