Friday, December 12, 2008

Elk Grove Police Department Undertakes Special Holiday DUI Enforcement

The holiday season, with its celebrations, parties, shopping and traveling to friends and family, puts more motorists in harm’s way of more potential impaired drivers. Beginning December 19, 2008, the Elk Grove Police Department will join law enforcement across the state as part of California’s Holiday DUI Crackdown Campaign, as well as encouraging the public to call 911 to report suspected drunk drivers. Funding for the special enforcement activities comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Elk Grove Police Department will be conducting a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint within the city of Elk Grove on December 19, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. “Unnecessary deaths caused by driving under the influence are tragic anytime and even more so during the holiday season. That’s why we ask you to help us … if you see someone driving under the influence call 911”, said Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner.

2007 marked the first year since 1998 in which alcohol-related fatalities declined in California, dropping 8.3 percent. “California has worked very hard over the past five years to reverse the trend of increasing alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “Through an aggressive combination of various anti-DUI operations, including sobriety checkpoints, together with the public calling 911 when they see a drunk driver, we’re getting these dangerous drivers off the road.”

All too often, residents of Elk Grove are senselessly injured or killed on local roadways by impaired drivers. These DUI/Drivers License checkpoints are an effort to reduce those tragedies, as well as insuring drivers have a valid driver’s license. A major component of these checkpoints is to increase awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage sober designated drivers.

The public is also encouraged to call 911 to report drunk drivers and be ready to describe the vehicle, it’s location and direction of travel. The following clues can help motorists detect a drunk driver:

Weaving/swerving in and out of the lane

Weaving within the lane quite noticeably

Travelling at speeds much slower than the flow of traffic

Braking erratically or stopping in the lane

Sudden stops for signal lights and slow start once they change

Remaining at the signal lights once they turn green – asleep at the wheel

Making wide turns and/or cutting the corner, striking the curb

Headlights off at night or on high beams

Driving with the turn signals on

Straddling the center line of the road or lane lines

The Driver looks intoxicated – starring straight ahead, face close to the windshield, and appears to by quite sleepy

Finally Aggressive Driving – speed, tailgating and multiple lane changes or unsafe passing may also be the tell-tale signs of intoxication

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