This Labor Day weekend, families and friends will be celebrating the end of the summer. Sadly, this festive time has also become a dangerous time for America’s roads, as many drunk and drugged drivers get behind the wheel after celebrating. For this reason, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stop drunk and drugged drivers, and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from August 19 through September 5, 2016. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk and drugged driving. Increased national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk or drugged, coupled with sobriety checkpoints and increased officers working DUI saturation patrols on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roads.
Municipal Police Departments, County Sheriff Departments and the California Highway Patrol will searching for the tale-tell signs of drunk driving in order to stop and arrest impaired drivers throughout the region. The LAPD has planned the following DUI-related enforcement activities:
Thursday, August 25, 2016 •DUI Saturation Patrol in Pacific Area – 5 P.M. to 1 A.M. •DUI Saturation Patrol in Wilshire Area – 5 P.M. to 1 A.M.
Friday, August 26, 2016 •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at Florence Avenue and Main Street – 6 P.M. to 12 A.M. •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at La Brea Avenue and Melrose Avenue – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M. •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at Olympic Boulevard and Westlake Avenue – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M. •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at Sepulveda Boulevard and Parthenia Street – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M.
Saturday, August 27, 2016 •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at La Brea Avenue and 20th Street – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M.
Sunday, August 28, 2016 •DUI Saturation Patrol in Mission Area – 5 P.M. to 1 A.M.
Thursday, September 1, 2016 •DUI Saturation Patrol in Hollenbeck Area – 4 P.M. to 12 A.M. •DUI Saturation Patrol in Olympic Area – 5 P.M. to 1 A.M.
Friday, September 2, 2016 •DUI Saturation Patrol in Mission Area – 5 P.M. to 1 A.M. •DUI Saturation Patrol in Central Bureau – 6 P.M. to 2 A.M.
Saturday, September 3, 2016 •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at Ventura Boulevard and Columbus Avenue – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M. •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at Florence Avenue and Main Street – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M. •DUI/Driver License Checkpoint at Rosecrans Avenue and Menlo Avenue – 8 P.M. to 2 A.M.
According to NHSTA, on average, over 10,000 people died each year (2010 to 2014) in drunk-driving crashes nationwide while California recorded 882 deaths. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend (from August 29 at 6 P.M. through September 2, 2014, at 5:59 A.M.), 40 percent of the fatalities in traffic crashes involved drunk drivers, which was the highest percentage over the five years 2010 to 2014. Nighttime proves to be the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: during the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, 83 percent of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. – as compared to half of all drunk-driving crash fatalities throughout the rest of that year.
Additionally, 40 percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend in 2014 involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 162 lives lost nationwide and 20 in California. More than a quarter (28%) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher-almost twice the illegal limit.
“People need to understand that drunk and drugged driving is not only illegal, but it is deadly,” said Lieutenant Ferry. “Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States, with more than 10,000 people dying annually. Drivers need to pay attention to their own driving, but also to others on the road who could be driving drunk or drugged,” he added. “It is your business. If you think you see a drunk driver, report them – call 911.”
The reality is that people aren’t invincible. Of the 9,967 people who were killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2014, 64 percent were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,391 drunk drivers thought they would make it to their destinations, but they didn’t.
“This is important to remember: do not trust yourself when you drink,” said Lieutenant Ferry. “You may think you’re okay to drive, but law enforcement will test you. Law enforcement officers’ skills in detecting and identifying drunk drivers have never been better. They will spot you and arrest you.”
Your LAPD reminders everyone: •Plan a safe way home before the fun begins. •Before drinking, designate a sober driver. •Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb. •DRUGS, MEDICATION & ALCOHOL = CRASHES: Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. •If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take your friend’s keys and help your friend make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely
As the summer winds to an end, remember that there’s no excuse for drunk or impaired driving. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Funding for the extra DUI enforcement operations is a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.