There is always a spike in alcohol and drug-related DUI incidents during the holidays on Southern California roads. For years, law enforcement agencies like the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station, the CHP, and the LAPD all step-up their enforcement of driving laws in an effort to curtail the number of fatal DUI crashes that occur this time of year. Law enforcement has a few tools in their kit that have allowed them to make headway and bring those numbers down over the past several years, including:
- DUI Checkpoints – DUI checkpoints are used extensively throughout the year by various law enforcement agencies, including the SCV Sheriff Station deputies. They’re usually placed in areas that experience relatively heavy traffic. At the checkpoint, each driver stop and show proper identification and insurance while specially-trained officers evaluate the driver for any signs of drug or alcohol use. Lines can form at the checkpoints, but most drivers make it through within a few minutes as the officers can tell pretty quickly whether or not they’re dealing with someone driving under the influence.
- Saturation Patrols – Unlike DUI checkpoints, saturation patrols aren’t stationary. When police perform a saturation patrol, they’ll assign a higher than normal number of officers to patrol a given area and look for drivers who are exhibiting the signs of possible intoxication. Saturation patrols are often used in areas where performing a DUI checkpoint isn’t really possible, such as on the Sunset Strip or on certain stretches of the freeway.
All-told, the no-tolerance approach to driving under the influence that law enforcement has undertaken has been able to reduce the numbers of alcohol and drug-related DUI incidents on the roads. Unfortunately, the police cannot be everywhere at once. It’s up to the public to make sure they take precautions when traveling on the roads during the holidays. If you’re going to drink, be sure you have a safe ride to and from wherever you’re going. Use apps like Uber or Lyft, call a taxi, get a motel/hotel room within walking distance of where you’re going to be.