The Long Beach Police Department’s (LBPD) DUI Enforcement Team will deploy officers this weekend tasked with stopping and arresting alcohol and drug-impaired drivers, according to an announcement released earlier this week.
The operation is a part of the department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign and will commence Saturday, July 9 between 7:00PM and 3:00AM in areas with high numbers of DUI collisions and/or arrests.
In 2013, in California, 867 died and over 23,000 were seriously injured due to the crime. On a national level, 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. Over the past three years, the LBPD has investigated 1,032 DUI collisions, which have ended seven lives and caused 370 injuries, according to the release.
The release also stated that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems, based on recent statistics, while a study of active drivers showed that more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).
Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will evaluate motorists suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of crashes. Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.
The LBPD also urged everyone to be mindful of medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, because drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the drug’s effect.
In the release, the LBPD promoted the use of the California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app, which is now available for free download on a smartphone. Users of the app can find bars and restaurants in the state that offer incentives for designated drivers and their live-saving role. Users can also order a ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb through the app and read what other users are saying via the social tab. DDVIP was launched in 2015.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the LBPD thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.