Holiday DUI enforcement efforts include DUI checkpoints, roving “saturation patrols” and use of highway signs to deter DUI driving.
Saturation Patrols/DUI Task Force:
The California Highway Patrol has a number of “DUI Task Force” units that patrol areas that historically have frequent DUI collisions. The DUI Task Forces are designed to efficiently detain and bring in DUI drivers in high risk areas.
In addition to dedicated DUI task force operations, during holiday times, increased patrols by all highway patrol officers are carried out. Using grant money (from such organizations as the Office of Highway Safety) overtime for officers is utilized to have maximum enforcement during holiday
Each year California has approximately 2500 DUI checkpoints. Of questionable Constitutional validity, DUI checkpoints are road blocks that are designed to catch DUI drivers in high risk areas. The checkpoints are set up with a stop-sign, where officers have the drivers show them their license/registration/insurance documents. During this exchange, the officer is looking for the signs of intoxication: Red/watery eyes, slurred speech, stammering, fumbling for license in the wallet and other impairment cues. If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence, a DUI investigation is carried out on scene. Typically a breathalyzer that is normally used in a police station is taken to the scene and is set up in a trailer for quick use. DUI checkpoints have been a powerful tool used in California to catch DUI drivers since 1984.
Highway signs discussing the dangers of DUI driving
Around California this holiday season, the message that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” can be seen on highway signs. Also regularly displayed is “Report Drunk Drivers, Call 911.” While it is arguable these signs may lead to hysteria, they are commonly used during holiday times as a way to keep the public vigilant about DUI.
Holiday DUI enforcement links:
CHP DUI enforcement information: This site details the various CHP DUI enforcement efforts