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Police to Hold DUI Checkpoint Friday

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By Lookout Staff

September 1, 2022 -- Santa Monica police on Friday will hold a driving under the influence (DUI) Checkpoint from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. at an undisclosed location in the city.

The Department will also host a "Know Your Limit" event on Saturday, September 3 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The location of a DUI checkpoint -- whose goal is to take "suspected impaired drivers off the road" -- is based on data showing incidents of impaired driving-related crashes, police officials said.

"Impaired drivers put others on the road at significant risk," the Department said in a release announcing Friday's checkpoint.

"Any prevention measures that reduce the number of impaired drivers on our roads significantly improves traffic safety."

In addition to alcohol, some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can interfere with driving. So can medicinal and recreational marijuana, which are legal.

Saturday's “Know Your Limit” program offers "an interactive way to show how much, or little (alcohol), it can take to reach the legal limit to operate a vehicle," officials said.

"Officers will ask customers how many drinks they have consumed and whether they believe they are still able to drive safely.

"Officers will then invite volunteers to take a breathalyzer test to see if they are able to guess their blood alcohol content (BAC). Customers are provided information on alcohol intake and average BAC levels," officials said.

It is illegal for anyone 21 or older to drive with a BAC of .08 percent or higher.

According to the California Driver Handbook, it takes two drinks consumed within one hour by a woman between 120-160 pounds and three drinks by a man between 180-220 pounds to be over the legal limit.

One drink is based on 1.5 oz. of liquor (40 percent alcohol), 12 oz. of beer (4.5 percent alcohol) or a 5 oz. glass of wine (12 percent alcohol). The BAC lowers at a rate of .01 percent for every 40 minutes between drinks.

"The goal is to help people understand the effects of alcohol so they can make smart decisions about how they get home," police officials said.

"It only takes a few drinks to impair, and that’s why it is important that people know their limit."

Drivers charged with a first-time DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.

Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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