Hollister Police Department. BenitoLink photo.
Hollister Police Department. BenitoLink photo.

Information provided by Hollister Police Department

The Hollister Police Department announced it will conduct a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint on Aug. 26 from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location within the city limits.

The advisory said that in recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes and that Hollister Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”

“If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI,” the release said. “Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.”

It added that the deterrent effect of High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug impaired crashes and that research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20% when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely.

Police said DUI checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, delaying motorists only momentarily.

“When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes,” the release said. “Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication, prescription or over the counter, drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.”

It added that studies of California drivers have shown that 30% of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems and that a study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14%) than did for alcohol (7.3%). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4%, slightly more than alcohol.

HPD offered the following reminders to ensure people have a safe night of fun that doesn’t involve a DUI:

  • Decide before you go out whether you plan to drink or drive. You can’t do both.
  • If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver before going out or map out another safe way to get home by taxi, ride-share or public transportation. You can also look up designated driver services in your area using the National Directory of Designated Driver Services (NDDDS).
  • See your friend or other patron impaired trying to get behind the wheel? Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.
  • Report drunk drivers – Call 911.