The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit plans a Driving Under The Influence/Drivers License Checkpoint starting at 7 p.m. today on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino.
Sheriff’s Office officials aren’t saying exactly what intersection the check will be, only that it will continue until 3 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29.
Deputies will speak with motorists passing through the checkpoint and look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. They also will verify that motorists have a valid driver’s license.
When possible, specially trained deputies will be available to evaluate motorists who are suspected of drug-impaired driving. Motorists who are caught driving impaired by drugs or alcohol can expect jail time, license suspension, and an increase in their auto insurance rates. They also will face fines, miscellaneous fees, DUI classes, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
While Sheriff’s Office officials acknowledge the delay to motorists can be frustrating, they will strive to minimize the wait.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of people killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often.
In 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed nationally in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher. In California, there were 791 deaths.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints 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.
“DUI Checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed since 2006 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety.
Sheriff’s Department officials are advising people that if they see a drunk driver they should call 9-1-1 and report the details.
-- The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department contributed to this report.
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