The Santa Monica Lookout reports that on Thursday, the Santa Monica Police Department announced it would hold a DUI checkpoint on Friday, June 30, at an undisclosed location.
This move comes in response to an intoxicated driver crashing into and severely injuring a pedestrian less than one month ago. The pedestrian was sitting on a bus stop bench at the intersection of 26th Street and Wilshire Boulevard when a 35-year-old motorist veered off the road and hit him.
The 18-year-old victim was rushed to UCLA Medical Center in critical condition. The young man had to undergo several surgeries, including amputating one of his legs.
The motorist was arrested on felony DUI charges.
The upcoming DUI checkpoint will be held from 6:00 p.m. on Friday to 3:00 a.m. Saturday within Santa Monica city limits. California law enforcement agencies determine checkpoint locations based on data showing incidents of past DUI crashes and arrests.
A police spokesperson said that the primary purpose of DUI checkpoints is not to make arrests but rather to “take impaired drivers off the road and deter drivers from driving impaired.”
Someone is considered impaired with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent. Other forms of impairment that could affect someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely include the use of marijuana, some prescription medications, and even some medications that are available over the counter.
Officials remind the public, “If you plan on drinking or taking medications that may impact your ability to drive safely, stay home.”
On average, drivers facing even a first-time DUI can expect to pay $13,500 or more in fines and penalties along with a suspended license.
Funding for the checkpoint is made available by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.