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DUI crackdown planned for holiday
tpd car
The 21-year-old woman was walking in the parking lot looking at her phone, as a 19-year-old man driving through hit her. - photo by Journal file photo

This Independence Day holiday the Turlock Police Department wants to remind residents to plan for a safe week of festivities by not driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or drugs.

“We want our community to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday, but we want them to do so responsibly,” said Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar. “This is not a joke, and it’s not a time to test the laws. Alcohol or drug impaired driving is illegal, but it’s also deadly. We’re imploring you! Please ensure you have a sober driver lined up to get you home safely from your holiday festivities. Doing so could save a life.”

In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. During the 2017 four-day Fourth of July holiday in California, 17 people were killed and 430 injured in alcohol involved crashes, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

The Turlock Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If people take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, they might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

A first time DUI arrest could cost up to $10,000, which includes attorney fees, fines, higher insurance rates, car towing, an alcohol/drug education treatment program and lost time at work, not to mention jail time, years on probation, the loss of the vehicle and driver’s license.