Rohnert Park Police plan to be out in force as the Labor Day weekend kicks off Friday night, setting up a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed location within city limits from 7 p.m. to 3 am. It will be the department’s second DUI checkpoint in August.
“We need to get the message across [that] DUI will not be tolerated,” Sgt. Aaron Johnson said.
Johnson said more than 20 local residents have been injured in DUI-related incidents in the past three years.
"Our numbers from last year to this year were cut in half from 8 to 4 injury collisions," he said. "A lot of that comes from aggressive enforcement, high visibility, and the community responding to our request to drive sober. We are thankful to those who make a responsible choice."
More on the checkpoint from a Rohnert Park DPS press release:
"The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons 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 enough.
Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Officers will also check drivers for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
In 2010, over 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 (BAC) of .08% or higher. In California, this deadly crime led to 791 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver."
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 also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.
“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. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, Rohnert Park needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that checkpoints provide.”
Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Rohnert Park DPS by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to continue to work together to bring an end to these tragedies. If you see a Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1.