EASTERN MADERA COUNTY — Those planning a night out this Saturday need to be certain they have designated a sober driver, as should always be the case.
The Oakhurst Area of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will conduct a driving under the influence (DUI) and driver license safety checkpoint on Saturday, Aug. 19, somewhere within the unincorporated area of northeastern Madera County.
Additional officers will patrol the surrounding area searching for impaired drivers.
This checkpoint will be conducted in accordance with guidelines outlined in the Supreme Court decision, Ingersoll V. Palmer, and will be staffed by CHP officers who are trained in the detection of drivers who are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
These officers will have breath-testing devices which provide an accurate measure of blood alcohol concentrations in suspected impaired drivers.
Motorists approaching the sobriety/driver license checkpoint will see informational signs advising of a checkpoint ahead. Once diverted into the checkpoint, motorists will only be briefly delayed to speak with an officer.
“All too often, members of our community are senselessly injured or killed on our local roadways by intoxicated or unlicensed drivers,” said Lieutenant Craig Hinch, CHP Oakhurst Area Commander.
The goal of the CHP is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of intoxicated or unlicensed drivers. A sobriety/driver license checkpoint is a proven effective tool for achieving this goal and is designed to augment existing patrol operations.
“Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving unlicensed,” says Lt. Hinch. “Our objective is to send a clear message to those individuals who consider driving and mixing alcohol or drugs, or drive when unlicensed, you will be caught and your vehicle will be towed away.”
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
(Editor’s note: The CHP is required by law to notify the public of these types of checkpoints in advance).