Heads up, rich people: The Newport Beach Police Department will be setting up a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint at an undisclosed location somewhere in your hood tonight (that’s Aug. 23). The checkpoint will go up at 8 p.m. and shut down at 2 a.m. on Aug 24, according to an Aug. 14 news release sent out by the department.
Also, the Irvine PD will set up a sobriety checkpoint “in the area of Alton Parkway and Gateway” on Saturday, Aug. 24, the department announced in an Aug. 23 news release. That checkpoint will open at 8 p.m. and go until 2 a.m.
“The checkpoint will be clearly marked and vehicles will be selected for further screening on a pre-set basis to ensure objectivity,” states the Irvine PD. “Motorists will be greeted and given information about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Trained officers will direct suspected impaired drivers to a secondary area for further evaluation. Most motorists will experience little or no delay.”
The Newport Beach PD is also taking part in the national campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which means it will put additional officers on the road through Sept. 2, which is Labor Day.
“Labor Day Weekend remains one of the deadliest times of [the] year for alcohol-involved crashes,” states the Aug. 14 news release. “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 376 deadly crashes nationwide during the 2017 Labor Day holiday period (Sept. 1 to Sept. 5). Among those crashes, more than one-third (36%) involved a drunk driver. Last year, two people were killed, and 31 others injured in California on Labor Day alone.”
As is usually the case with these checkpoints, undocumented immigrants who get caught in them potentially face even worse sanctions than mere jail time and fines (try indefinite detention in concentration camps and deportation).
Funding for the checkpoints comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, administered through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.