In the past year, San Rafael police have DUI checkpoints in the Canal, Terra Linda and West End neighborhoods, all yielding very low drunken driving arrests.
Of the three checkpoints held in the Canal neighborhood, only one was arrested for DUI, according to the San Rafael Police Department's archive. On the border of San Rafael and San Anselmo, four were arrested for DUI, the largest number for the entire year. The Terra Linda checkpoint on Manuel T Freitas Parkway and Las Gallinas Avenue had the highest rate of field sobriety tests at 2.6 percent.
DUI checkpoint locations are selected after an analysis of traffic collision data that indicates a high percentage of DUI-involved collisions in the area, according to police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher. The data included in the map above does not include the police department's satruation patrols, where officers roam the streets looking for drunken drivers instead of setting up a stationary checkpoint.
In mid-2012, the California Office of Traffic Safety awarded a $200,000 grant to the San Rafael Police Department that focuses on those who get behind the wheel after drinking too much or using drugs that impair driving.
In addition to multi-agency DUI task force deployments and local saturation patrols, a large part of grant funding will go to the checkpoints, which will be highly visible and highly publicized events meant to make arrests and prevent impaired driving in the first place.
Crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough, Rorhbacher told Patch. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.
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