COSTA MESA, Calif. (March 16, 2022) – The Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) will be conducting a driving under the influence (DUI) and driver’s license checkpoint on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 18, 2022, from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. within the city limits.
Checkpoint locations are determined based on data showing incidents of impaired driving-related crashes. The primary purpose of DUI checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by distributing educational information and by taking suspected impaired drivers off the road.
“If you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, have a game plan to get home safe and do not drink and drive,” Sgt. Dan Miles said. “These checkpoints, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, are essential to keeping the community safe. On Friday, we will be looking for impaired drivers because driving under the influence is dangerous and puts others on the road at risk.”
“Our preference is to have zero DUI drivers on our roadways and that those who decide to drink do so responsibility by always having a designated driver,” said Chief Ron Lawrence. “DUI checkpoints are a way to educate our community and our hope is people learn to plan ahead with alternative transportation when out drinking.”
CMPD reminds the public that impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about driving or “operating heavy machinery,” which includes driving a car. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
CMPD offers these reminders to ensure you have a safe night of fun that does not involve a DUI:
Always use a designated sober driver to get home, which could be a friend who is not drinking, ride-share, a cab or public transportation.
If you see someone who is impaired try to drive, take the keys and help them make other arrangements to find a sober way home.
Call 911 to report drunk drivers.
If you are hosting a party, offer nonalcoholic drinks. Monitor those who are drinking and how they are getting home.
If you plan on drinking or taking medications that may impact your ability to drive safely, plan on staying at home.
Drivers charged with a first-time DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.
Funding for this checkpoint is provided to CMPD by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.