With the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, law enforcement officers are now having to look out for drivers who are not just driving while intoxicated by alcohol. Marijuana and even other legal prescription drugs can impair driving. Prescription pain relievers, muscle relaxers, sleep aids, antidepressants, antihistamines, and even blood pressure medications can impair a person’s ability to drive.
If caught driving while under the influence of any of these, a person can face the same penalties as though they are driving under the influence of alcohol. This can include suspension of license, thousands of dollars in fines and other fees, DUI school, and possible jail time. The Canyon-News reports of a DUI checkpoint aimed at catching drivers who are possibly under the influence or driving with revoked or suspended licenses.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Services Detail and the Malibu-Lost Hills Station conducted a DUI checkpoint on June 22. The checkpoint was set up between 7:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. at Pacific Coast Highway and Webb Way.
The checkpoint netted 11 arrests total: 1 person on criminal charges and 10 others driving on revoked or suspended licenses. Another 14 citations were also issued during the checkpoint.
The efforts were a part of the “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze” program and are aimed at DUIs that do not include alcohol intoxication.
In 2015, 45% of all drivers killed in traffic accidents who were tested ended up testing positive for legal and/or illegal drugs. In California, that number was 19%.