For many, New Year’s means partying and drinking. Law enforcement is cracking down on drunk driving; don’t think you won’t be caught. DUI sobriety checkpoints are one means police use to catch those who refuse to follow the law.

Dui

Sacramento’s police car

The California Highway Patrol maintains these checkpoints to reduce the number of drunk drivers on our highways and diminish the amount of pain, suffering and death that results from drunk driving.

Despite laws and efforts to crack down on drunk driving, it seems some people still intentionally drink and drive, even on New Year’s.

“I did drink and drive, I’m not going to lie,” says 20-year-old licensed driver who wishes to remain anonymous.  “I took about four shots of liquor and two cans of beer.  I avoided most of the DUI checkpoints because I knew where they were.  Also look, I am alive now.”

According to the California DUI Law, anyone granted the privilege of driving has consented to law enforcement to conduct chemical testing of their blood or breath.

If the 20-year-old  was caught with a blood alcohol reading of 0.01% or higher on a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device, he may have his license revoked or suspended.

However, according to the CHP chart for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), his BAC may have been above 0.05%. According to the CHP, “any driver under 21 with a blood alcohol reading of 0.05% or higher is subject to arrest and license suspension or revocation.”

19-year-old Mary Fang says that she knows better and to follow the law.

“I didn’t drink and drive and I know what can happen if I did drink and drive. I mean why take the chance.”
“First it’s the law,” Fang said when asked why she doesn’t drink and drive. “Second, because I know what it can do. Every 15 Minutes showed me that.”

The Every 15 Minutes program dramatically instills teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving.

“The program challenges students to think about drinking and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved,” says Fang, who has gone through the program. “I think those who drink and drive aren’t aware of the consequences. I believe everyone should have the opportunities of experiencing such a powerful program.  Sadly, I know it’s not possible especially with high schools on tight budgets.”

“Nope, I don’t know what that even is,” said the 20-year-old driver when asked if he knew what Every 15 Minutes is.

Every 15 Minutes website: http://www.every15minutes.com/enter/
California High Way Patrol laws on DUI: http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/dui-en.html