The Turlock Police Department is planning a focus on catching drunk drivers this Halloween weekend and is reminding party-goers to make plans for a safe and sober ride home before imbibing in any spirits.
Law enforcement will be out looking for the tell-tale signs of drunk driving in order to stop and arrest impaired drivers throughout the region this weekend and Monday – Halloween night.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involved drunk driving on Halloween night from 2009 to 2013. Over that same period, 119 people were killed by drunk driving. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are also at risk as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.
Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing. 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 police department said people should be mindful that when taking medication – whether prescription, over-the-counter or marijuana – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.
Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that features free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
The cost of a ride home is cheap when compared to the costs of a DUI arrest. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to Turlock Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.