Every 48 minutes, someone in the United States dies in a car accident involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. According to a recent press release by the Sacramento Police Department, driving under the influence led to more than 700 deaths in California. However, local measures can and are being taken in Sacramento to help ensure the safety of local residents.
On Friday, June 13th, the Sacramento Police Department held a sobriety and driver license checkpoint to validate the safety and legality of local drivers. DUI checkpoints are conducted in order to uphold traffic laws, and are intended to serve as a deterrent for driving under the influence.
“I agree with DUI checkpoints, with car fatalities and crashes and everything at an all time high… I totally support it,” says local resident Keith Amsler. “The only thing I suggest is that the media and news doesn’t tell where the DUI checkpoints are at because it gives those people who do drive drunk [the opportunity] not to go down those surface streets.”
Driving under the influence is a prevalent issue nationwide, costing every adult in America $500 annually, and totaling a cost of over $50 billion. Recent statistics show that for every one dollar spent conducting a sobriety checkpoint, six dollars are saved.
Though some question the validity of sobriety checkpoints, the checkpoints have been proven to lower the frequency of incidents involving driving under the influence.
According to Police Chief Magazine, “[the] NHTSA sponsored a program of highly publicized weekly checkpoints that resulted in a 20 percent reduction of alcohol-related fatalities that continued for 21 months after the program’s end.” Similar statistics suggest that about fatal, alcohol-related car accidents are reduced by up to 26% when sobriety checkpoints are consistently administered (Texas Transportation Institute).
Currently, 38 states allow and conduct sobriety checkpoints. Information on upcoming checkpoints is generally available to the public. Local checkpoint information can be found here.
All images courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons.