PREPARED BY: Lt. Mike Kearney
The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are ways to spend time with family and friends ringing in another year, but also a time when people can make poor choices that put themselves and others at risk on the road.
To help spread the message about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, the Escondido Police Department is partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get impaired drivers off roads.
During the high-visibility enforcement campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which runs from Dec. 14-Jan. 1, the Escondido Police Department will have more officers on the road conducting saturation patrols looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
In addition, the Escondido Police Department will hold a DUI checkpoint on Saturday December 22nd at an undisclosed location within the Escondido city limits looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, as well as checking drivers for proper licensing.
“Whether you are home with family or at the bar, it is important that you find a sober ride home after drinking,” said Escondido Police Chief, Craig Carter. “As an adult, it is up to you to make adult decisions and drive sober or use a ride share service. There are no excuses for driving impaired.”
The Escondido Police Department also reminds drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Marijuana, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
During the 2017 Christmas (Dec. 22-25) and New Year’s (Dec. 30-Jan. 2) holiday periods, 25 people were killed and 643 injured on California roads, according to data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS).
“Drunk driving continues to be a huge problem in this country, and more recently, marijuana and drug-impaired driving,” said Chief Carter. “People are out and about shopping for the holidays and going to or hosting parties, so it is important that everyone acts responsibly behind the wheel.”
Funding for impaired driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.