Being tipsy behind the wheel tonight in Anaheim won’t go over well near Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue. That’s where the Anaheim Police Department’s traffic unit is setting up a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint between 8 p.m. – 3 a.m. They’ll be looking for any signs of alcohol or drug impairment while also screening drivers for proper licenses.
For those who think announcing DUI checkpoints compromises the element of surprise and makes them counterproductive, Anaheim police beg to differ.
“Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely,” says Sgt. Shane Carringer in a department press release. “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.”
The department is putting a greater emphasis on drugged-impaired driving. With recreational marijuana now legal in California, police point to a study of drivers who tested positive more for weed than booze. They also caution about alcohol intensifying impairment for people taking certain prescription drugs.
But driving while liquored up is still definitely a serious offense. Just this week, Jarred Doyle, an off-duty Garden Grove police officer, was arraigned in court for falling asleep at the wheel and coming to a complete stop on the 55 freeway; his blood booze level tested at twice the legal limit. If convicted, Doyle faces a maximum sentence of six months in county jail.
Anaheim police warn that those arrested tonight can face a host of consequences including jail time and associated costs of more than $10,000. They’d rather have revelers plan ahead by getting a designated driver or calling a cab. Drivers are also encouraged to download the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Designated Driver VIP app where an Uber, Lyft or Curb can be hailed down all from one screen.
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.