LBPD to Conduct DUI Patrols Saturday

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DUI CheckpointsThe Long Beach Police Department will be conducting a driving under the influence (DUI) saturation patrol targeting impaired drivers on Saturday, March 17, 2012, from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. the next morning, in the south and east portions of Long Beach. In an effort to reduce the number of people killed and injured in alcohol and drug related accidents, DUI saturation patrols are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the roadways, as well as to educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving.

DUI saturation patrols are a vital component in the fight against impaired drivers. Nationally, impaired driving caused by alcohol or drugs causes one death every 30 minutes, and one injury every two minutes. The average American has a 30% chance of being killed or injured by an impaired driver, and saturation patrols have been proven to reduce impaired driving-related collisions by removing these drivers from our streets.

By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the Long Beach Police Department believes motorists can be deterred from drinking and driving. Research shows that the number of alcohol-involved crashes drops by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized enforcement operations are conducted regularly.

During the saturation patrol, officers will be contacting drivers and looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, insurance increases, fines, DUI classes, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 13 lives and resulted in 274 injury crashes harming 388 of our friends and neighbors,” said Sgt. Ernie Kohagura.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints and saturation patrols 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.

“Deaths from drunk and drug-impaired driving are going down in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). “But that still means that hundreds of our friends, family and co-workers are killed each year, along with tens of thousands who are seriously injured. We must all continue to work together to bring an end to these tragedies. If you see a drunk driver, call 9-1-1.”

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For further information please contact Long Beach Police Department Traffic Section Sergeant Ernie Kohagura at (562) 570-5737.

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