The Santa Monica Police Department will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this New Year‚Äôs Eve.
A DUI/Driver‚Äôs License Checkpoint will be in place on Dec. 31; police refused to release the location, but it will be somewhere within the city limits.
The checkpoint is part of an ongoing campaign to reduce the number of people killed or injured in alcohol-involved crashes. DUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and remove them from the street, as well as bring awareness to the community of the dangers of impaired driving, said SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis, spokesman for the department.
Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint, looking for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Drivers caught impaired can expect jail, license suspension and increased insurance costs, as well as fines from the court, DUI classes, court probation and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, police said.
Over the course of the past year, 86 traffic collisions in Santa Monica involved impaired drivers/riders, said SMPD Lt. Jay Trisler. Two people were killed and 26 injured.
Checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The SMPD reminds drivers if they plan on drinking to call a taxi or have a designated driver.
Funding for the DUI checkpoint is provided by a federal grant administered by the California Office of Traffic Safety.