While the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how we celebrate the holidays, the Watsonville Police Department is still dedicated to keeping the public safe. We urge people to use a designated sober driver if you plan to drink.
Starting Dec. 14 and through New Year’s Day, we will have officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The enforcement effort is part of a national campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” intended to show zero tolerance for drunk driving and keep roads safe.
As part of these efforts, we will also be holding a DUI Checkpoint this Friday, December 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at an undisclosed location within Watsonville City limits.
Checkpoint locations are chosen based on a history of DUI crashes and arrests. The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving impaired. During the checkpoint, officers will look for signs that drivers are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Keep in mind that impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving. Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about “driving or operating heavy machinery,” which includes driving a car. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal.
If you plan on drinking or taking medications that may impact your ability to drive safely, plan on staying at home.
Drivers charged with DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.