What if they held a DUI checkpoint and nobody got a DUI citation? Escondido police narrowly escaped that outcome Friday, Feb. 12.
Police held a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint from 6 p.m. to midnight just outside police headquarters south of El Norte Parkway at the southbound Centre City Parkway lanes by Decatur Way. They arrested one driver on suspicion of DUI. Police said 1,393 vehicles drove through the checkpoint.
This was all part of a $309,726 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) awarded Nov. 9, 2015 for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.
Nonetheless Escondido police Lt. Mike Kearney said the effort was a success.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent,” Kearney said. “Ninety Percent of California drivers approve of checkpoints.”
Kearney added: “DUI/Driver’s License checkpoints have been shown to lower DUI deaths and injuries. A major component of these checkpoints are the deterrent effects it has on those who might drive drunk or drugged impaired, bringing about more awareness and encouraging everyone to use sober designated drivers.”
Drivers whose only offense was being unlicensed to drive were given the opportunity to locate the registered owner of the vehicle to either take or assign possession of the vehicle to a licensed driver, Kearney said. Thirteen vehicles were released to the owner or a designated driver, seven vehicles were impounded, he said.
According to police, this was the tale of the tape:
- 1393 vehicles drove through the checkpoint.
- 808 vehicles were screened in primary.
- 58 vehicles were sent to secondary screening (drivers who could not produce a driver’s license or who were suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
- 25 total citations were issued during the checkpoint. (6 for suspended license and 16 for unlicensed driver, 6 for no insurance.)
- There was 1 person arrested for DUI.
Seems like a lot of resources for so little in the way of results. Perhaps we have too many police officers if we can waste police personnel hours on something like this.