Additional enforcement measures to combat impaired driving are coming as a result of a recent $68,250 grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety to Goleta. Goleta Police are dedicated to keeping our streets safe through both enforcement and education.
“Obviously we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired, and we hope the campaign will remind people that if they plan on drinking, to never get behind the wheel,” said Butch Arnoldi, Goleta’s Police Chief. “But if someone does choose to drive impaired, we will arrest them. No warnings. No excuses.”
The special DUI Checkpoint grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the community. The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.
Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail time, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, court probation and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
Drunk and drugged driving is among America’s deadliest crimes. In 2010, 791 people were killed and over 24,000 injured in alcohol and drug-impaired crashes in California. Last year, Goleta experienced three killed and 18 injured in these tragic crashes. Crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough. Checkpoints have proven to be the most effective of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.
“DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed from 2006 to 2010 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, Goleta needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that this grant will provide.”
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The City of Goleta contracts with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office for police services.