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Redlands Police Department
Wednesday March 16th, 2011 :: 12:24 p.m. PDT


Extra St. Paddy’s Day checkpoints target impaired drivers, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk

Don’t Depend on Dumb Luck—Designate a Sober Driver Before the Party Begins.

For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of drunk drivers, the night out has also become very dangerous. Redlands Police will have eight additional officers on DUI patrol through 6 a.m. Friday, March 18, specifically looking for impaired drivers.

The Redlands Police Department Traffic Unit will also conduct a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, March 18, through 3 a.m. Saturday in the northbound lanes of Orange Street, between Stuart and Pearl.

Sgt Ricky Smith recommends the following easy steps, for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:

Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;

If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;

If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;

And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

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“Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk,” said Smith. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant. Don’t depend on dumb luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Designate your sober driver before the party begins.”

The Department is continuing its campaign to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol involved crashes. DUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the street, as well as bring awareness to the community of the dangers of impaired driving.

Over the course of the past year, DUI collisions have claimed three lives in the city of Redlands.

Everyone can assist in preventing this crime from ever occurring. If you are planning a gathering or celebration with alcohol included, or if you are out on the town, plan ahead and designate a non-drinking sober driver. A DUI arrest can cost upwards of $10,000, time in jail and the loss of your driver’s license, as well as years of increased insurance rates.

Statewide, overall traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009. Total traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels in six decades, when the federal government began compiling figures. DUI deaths declined by 16 percent, from 1,132 in 2007 to 950 in 2009.

But alcohol impaired deaths still make up the largest category of overall vehicle fatalities, with 31 percent of all deaths caused by a drunk driver. A DUI checkpoint is a proven effective method to lower these numbers. Additionally, drivers will be checked to ensure that they have a valid driver’s license.

Funding for these operations was provided by two grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Remember, everyone is encouraged to help keep our roadways safe; Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911!

Redlands Police Department
30 Cajon St
Redlands, CA 92373

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 909-798-7681

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