Officers will patrol Marin through Labor Day Weekend to crackdown on drunk driving.
The patrols are part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. They started Aug. 16 and end Sept. 2.
The crackdown efforts include DUI and driver’s license checkpoints in Sausalito and San Rafael, roving DUI saturation patrols, a DUI warrant/probation sweep and a DUI court sting targeting suspended drivers, according to San Rafael Police officials.
The scheduled operations include:
- A DUI and driver’s license checkpoint is planned for Friday, Aug. 23, in Sausalito and will begin at 6 p.m.
- A Countywide multi-agency Strike Team will operate on Friday, August 30 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- A DUI/driver’s license checkpoint on Sunday, Sept. 1, starting at 6 p.m.
- A series of roving patrols searching for drunk and impaired drivers will operate throughout the county on various evenings from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The first DUI and driver license checkpoint was on Friday, Aug. 16 in San Rafael at Grand Avenue and E. Francisco Blvd. At the checkpoint, police screened 1,064 vehicles, 23 unlicensed drivers were cite and three people were arrested on suspicion of DUI.
More from a San Rafael Police Department press release about the crackdown and drunk driving:
“Even though it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, far too many people across the nation still get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.
“Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” said San Rafael Traffic Sergeant Jim Correa. “In 2011 9,878 people died in crashes involving drunk drivers. That works out to approximately one drunk driving fatality every 53 minutes. In California, 774 died due to the crime of impaired driving.”
Sgt. Correa added that long weekends such as the Labor Day holiday are particularly dangerous.
During the Labor Day weekend in 2011, 11 people were killed during the holiday weekend in California.
Drunk driving takes a particularly heavy toll among young drivers. Among 18 to 34-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 42 percent were alcohol-impaired.
“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make California’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period,” said Director Chris Murphy, California Office of Traffic Safety.
“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses,” Sgt. Correa said.
Sgt. Correa noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
“Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’” said Sgt. Correa.
For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/. Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminds everyone; Report Drunk Drivers! – Call 9-1-1.”