This Fourth of July, as friends and family travel to picnics and barbecues across the country, the Azusa Police Department, in partnership with local, county, and state agencies, will be out stopping impaired drivers by targeting those who put lives in danger. As you prepare to drive home from the festivities, keep in mind that impairment by alcohol or drugs can be deadly Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.
NHTSA data shows that young drivers (18 to 34 years old) are especially at risk of driving drunk. In fact, 49 percent of the drivers 18 to 34 years old who were killed over the July Fourth period in 2015 were driving drunk (BAC of .08 or higher).
In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Azusa 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 this July 4th weekend celebration.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 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.
- Sgt. Robert Landeros