California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Tom Marshall CHP (916) 657-7202
Mark J. DeSio Caltrans (916) 654-5782
Armando Botello DMV (916) 657-6437
Mike Marando OTS (916) 262-2975
John Carr ABC (916) 419-2525
Chris Nance BT&H (916) 323-5416

December 16, 2005 

Sacramento, Placer and Yolo county agencies mobilize beginning tonight

WEST SACRAMENTO — Twenty-eight law enforcement agencies in Sacramento, Placer, and Yolo counties begin a concentrated 18-day mobilization against drunk and impaired drivers today that runs through midnight January 2, 2006.

Agencies comprising the “Avoid the Capital 12 (Sacramento County,” “Avoid the 7 (Placer County),” and “Avoid the 8 (Yolo County) assembled this morning at Raley Field to draw attention to drunk and impaired driving during the 9th annual Holiday Sobriety Challenge involving local media personalities and citizens. Participants consumed small portions of alcohol in a controlled environment to show the visual and physical effects of impairment. The challenge was hosted by Infineon Raceway and the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School.

More than 350 law enforcement agencies statewide, including the California Highway Patrol, are participating in the state’s most aggressive impaired driving crackdowns of the year. Today’s event is held in connection with Operation STAR (Statewide Traffic Action Response), a coalition of five traffic and safety related departments under the state Business, Transportation and Housing (BTH) Agency aimed at reducing the number of traffic related injuries and deaths during targeted periods of the year, particularly the winter holiday season.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a renewed statewide effort to prevent drunk driving during a Capitol press conference on Thursday in connection with the state’s annual Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month and national You Drink & Drive. You Lose. campaigns.

“Impaired driving is a violent crime that tops the traffic safety hit list in California,” said Highway Patrol Commissioner Mike Brown. “There will be no warnings and there will be no second chances. We’re going to be looking for impaired drivers and if we catch you and you’re convicted, you will go to jail.

In 2004, 1,462 people were killed and 31,538 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in California, compared to 1,445 fatalities and 31,337 injuries in 2003.

“We are close to reversing the trend of increasing alcohol-related fatalities experienced in California over the last six years,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “This tells us we’re doing something right in our efforts to get drunk drivers off the roads. The sobriety checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols and overall stepped-up enforcement and use of technology is working and we’re committed to continuing those efforts in order to bring the numbers down.”

The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (BT&H), awarded $4.7 million in grants to 156 local police departments to conduct sobriety checkpoints throughout the year, including the upcoming holiday period between December 16 and January 2nd. In addition, OTS has allocated $5 million toward funding 33 county/regional DUI Avoid campaigns statewide that involve the CHP and more than 350 police departments.

In addition to funding officer overtime and sobriety checkpoints, the OTS provides for programs that utilize technology so officers can do their job more efficiently, including portable evidentiary devices (EPAS) or breathalyzers, mobile command DUI trailers, and more.

And when you’re caught drinking and driving, a DUI in California will quickly add up to a hefty out-of-pocket penalty:

Vehicle towing and storage $187
Booking, fingerprinting and photo fee $156
Driver license reinstatement fee $125
Car insurance increase $2,700
DUI fine $480
Assessment for the court system $816
Community service fee $44
DUI victims fund $100
Alcohol abuse education fund $50
DUI classes $550
DUI victims impact sessions $20
Time payment charge $35
Total fees, fines and assessments $5,263

* Add $2,000 if using an attorney ($7,263 total)

* Statistics based on California Highway Patrol 2004 data and Department of Motor Vehicles.