Updated Jan. 25, 5:05 p.m.–
Police said a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint will be conducted by the Citrus Heights Police Department’s Traffic Unit at “an undisclosed location” in the city this weekend.
In a news release issued by Sgt. Brian Fritsch on Monday, police said the checkpoint would be held between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., beginning Friday night, Jan. 22.
CHPD is known to hold regularly publicized checkpoints within Citrus Heights city limits, focusing on areas with a history of collisions and DUI arrests. The Department says it announces checkpoints in advance to raise public awareness of DUI crackdowns, in an attempt to cause drivers to “think twice” about operating a vehicle while drunk.
A 2006 study paid for by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which provides funding for checkpoints around the nation, reported that alcohol-related crashes dropped significantly in various jurisdictions, after increased, high-publicity DUI campaigns were conducted.
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An example included in the study’s 108-page report found alcohol-related fatal crashes dropped by 50 percent in Fresno from 2002 to 2003, after Fresno Police “more than doubled” special enforcement activity. Overall alcohol-related crashes in Fresno dropped from 444 in 2002 down to 333 in 2003, an average drop of 25 percent.
In Citrus Heights last year there were 73 DUI-related collisions, according to statistics provided to The Sentinel by Sgt. Jason Baldwin. He said DUI collisions in the city dropped by 19 percent compared to 2014, with DUI arrests also dropping from 385 down to 340.
Baldwin said the drop could be a result of several factors, but highlighted that local police did “a lot of public education” in 2015.
Last year, he said the department launched a “Know thy Limits” campaign, involving groups of officers walking through local bars offering to conduct voluntary alcohol screening tests. On numerous occasions, he said individuals who thought they would be okay to drive ended up testing well-over the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08 percent.
In prior news releases about local checkpoints, police have emphasized the “preventable nature of drunk driving” accidents, advising those planning to enjoy a drink to designate a sober driver ahead of time, or utilize options like a taxi or Uber. Police have also advised sober drivers to call 9-1-1 to report drunk drivers, and to take the keys of someone who’s been drinking and “help them get home safely.”
In 2015 fatal roadway collisions, police previously confirmed alcohol was involved on the part of the driver in at least three of the collisions, and two involved alcohol on the part of pedestrians who were hit and killed.
[Also on The Sentinel: Citrus Heights Police: crime reduced by 5% in 2015]
Funding for this weekend’s checkpoint comes from a California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Police said last November CHPD had received a $236,190 OTS grant to help fund a year-long program of safety-related efforts, including DUI checkpoints and distracted driving enforcement.
Police said a DUI and driver's license checkpoint will be conducted by the Citrus Heights Police Department's Traffic Unit at "an undisclosed location" in the city this weekend.
In a news release issued by Sgt. Brian Fritsch on Monday, police said the checkpoint would be held between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., beginning Friday night...
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