South San Francisco, CA August 14, 2017 Submitted by SSFPD
This Labor Day, South San Francisco Police Department Reminds Citizens to Drive and Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over In Effort to End Impaired Driving
The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, a time for our country to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans. The long weekend is celebrated through picnics, pool parties, and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach. For many motorcyclists, the weekend is a chance to close down summer with that last long ride. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday period is also one of the deadliest, with alcohol and drug impaired drivers and riders endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways.
This year, the South San Francisco Police Department is partnering with police, Sheriffs and the CHP across the state to stop impaired drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaigns, Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, run from August 18 through September 4, 2017. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for alcohol or drug impaired driving and riding. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of riding impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce death and injuries on our nation’s roadways
DUI Enforcement Teams including DUI Saturation Patrols and a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint will be deploying during this period to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers and riders. The teams will deploy in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. These extra officers on the road, along with routine patrols, are aimed to drastically reduce impaired driving and riding in our community’s roadways. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol impairment. Specially-trained officers will also be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.
Statistics nationwide show a dangerous trend in impaired driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, a three percent rise in deaths over 2014. That’s roughly one person killed every
51 minutes in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the South San Francisco Police Department is working to remind drivers that impaired driving is not only illegal, it is a matter oflife and death.
In 2015, there were 4,976 motorcyclists (4,684 riders and 292 passengers) killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes-an increase of more than 8 percent from the 4,586 motorcyclists killed in 2014 nationwide. Even though motorcycles only account for about 3 percent of registered vehicles on the road, motorcyclists are dramatically overrepresented in fatal crashes – especially those involving alcohol.
It takes years of training and specialized skill to ride a motorcycle, according to the South San Francisco traffic enforcement unit. When motorcyclists decide to mix drinking or drugs and riding, their skills are impaired. This can lead to a number of situations, the worst of which is loss oflife. There is no situation in which it is acceptable to drive “buzzed” or impaired, and riding a motorcycle is no safer a situation than driving a vehicle.
Youth also plays a factor in deadly motorcycle accidents. In 2015, nearly half (44%) of impaired-driving motorcyclists were between the ages of 18 and 34. In the same year, 1,905 alcohol-impaired motorcyclists died in single-vehicle crashes. Sixty-three percent of those killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights were alcohol impaired.
In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The South San Francisco Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana use can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
Plan your sober ride home before the party begins as end of summer activities wraps up. It is never okay to drive impaired. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
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.
Have family or a friend who is about to drive buzzed or impaired? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely. The cost of a ride home is cheap. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
Funding for these DUI operations is provided to the South San Francisco Police Department by 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