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Don't Text, Take The Keys

DUIcheckpointLASDAs you celebrate the holiday season enjoying traditions, food, family and fun, be reminded that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, together with police, CHP and the Avoid the 100 DUI Taskforce, will be working  during holiday season from December 16, 2011, to January 2, 2012, to arrest anyone caught driving drunk.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station will conduct a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on December 16 and 22 as part of our commitment to the traffic safety campaign.

“RUOK?” is the text message version of the often heard question, “Are you okay to drive?”  If you have to ask someone the question, you already know the answer.  You know they have had too much to drink or are showing signs of being “buzzed.”  You know that are not okay to drive.  Asking the question doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility.  Call them a cab, take them home yourself, offer your couch.

DUI/ Driver’s License Checkpoints, Multi Agency DUI Task Force deployments and roving DUI patrols are scheduled locally in partnership with law enforcement statewide and around the county during the Winter Holiday Anti-DUI Campaign.  DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence.  Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Grant funded Drug Recognition Experts will be staffing most of the checkpoints.

DUI Checkpoints, along with regularly scheduled high visibility DUI enforcement, are proven strategies with the goal of removing impaired drivers from the road and heightening awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sobriety checkpoint programs can yield considerable cost savings: $6 for every $1 spent.  The Santa Clarita Valley Station has 20 additional DUI Checkpoints and operations scheduled throughout the course of next years.

“There will be no spreading holiday cheer behind the bars of a jail cell,” Captain Becker said. “Don’t let your 2011 holiday season end in an arrest or worse, death.  Remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk.”

In December 2009, there were 753 people killed nationwide in crashes that involved drivers or motorcycle riders with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 Blood Alcohol Content.  In California, 57 individuals died on the states streets and highways.

The message is simple, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.  Drinking alcohol and driving do not mix.  If you plan to consume alcohol, you should also plan not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride a motorcycle,” said Captain Becker.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station recommends these simple tips for a safe holiday season:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation
  • Use your community’s sober ride program “Safe Rides.” (661) 259-6330
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement, Call 911; and
  • Remember, “RUOK?” is a ridiculous question.  If you think they’ve had too much, they probably have.  Help him or her make other arrangements to get home safely.

The national Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown is led by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and NHTSA, with the California Avoid DUI Task Force Campaign combining high-visibility enforcement and heightened public awareness through publicity.

For statewide and local Avoid DUI Task Force Campaign Enforcement Schedules for the county and Daily DUI Arrest/Fatal Stats for the county and region, visit www.californiaavoid.org.  The Program is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety who reminds everyone to please – Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1!