Burbank Police conducted a DUI Checkpoint on Saturday, August 28. During the Checkpoint held on Olive between Lake and Victory, they screened a total of 337 vehicles which is a much lower total than pre-COVID-19 checkpoints.
A majority of the vehicles were between 11 pm and midnight when they inspected 158 vehicles.
Of the seven Field Sobriety Tests given, only one driver failed and was booked for DUI. Another motorist was arrested after a warrant came back in his name.
The location for the DUI checkpoint was chosen based on a history of DUI crashes and arrests. The primary purpose of these checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving while impaired.
During the checkpoint, police officers were looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment and checking drivers for valid licensing. A DUI can cost drivers an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.
Some prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can also cause impairment and interfere with the ability to drive safely. Always read the warning labels on medications and follow all directions for use. Marijuana can also cause impairment and lead to a DUI. While medicinal and recreational marijuana use is legal in California, driving while under the influence of marijuana is not.
Funding for this checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
While I appreciate the Burbank Police Department’s efforts, these projects are too occasional and have too little impact to justify the substantial cost to taxpayers. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
I am a night owl and I once saw a man drive his Mercedes into a residential wall and he just left the scene. High, addicted and drunk drivers are all around us. Just smell the stink of pot smokers every day while you are driving.
These roadblocks are very expensive and have limited benefit. Cities take the money provided through the California Office of Traffic Safety grants and are funded by the federal government.
Not all police leaders are in favor of these events but it has become status quo anyway.
This is the position given by the National Motorists Association:
“The only justification for stopping citizens under a roadblock scenario is to warn them of an unseen peril that could cause injury or death to an unsuspecting motorist. So-called “sobriety check points,” or seat belt checks, or the myriad of other excuses the government concocts to harass and intimidate its citizens through the use of roadblocks are, in our opinion, unconstitutional and in direct contradiction to any honest definition of freedom.”
I have followed the statistics of these events and I candidly do not feel the juice is worth the squeeze. I have seen a very clear correlation between the rise in popularity of ride share services and the reduction in DUI arrests at these checkpoints.
I would suggest that the City investigate if the California Office of Traffic Safety grants could be used for some other purpose such as drug prevention awareness programs.
In a city as tiny as Burbank, it is very affordable to take ride shares in town if someone is engaged in social drinking. I am in favor of stopping erratic and dangerous drivers. I am not in favor of delaying motorists who have done nothing wrong.
In the alternative, the City could also simply become a leader in this space and decline these taxpayer funds.
While I am in favor of arresting intoxicated drivers, I consider the larger picture of permissive drug culture to be the real crisis in our City and I believe the solution is awareness and better parental guidance.
Do you agree or disagree? Post your comments and let me know…thank you.
I’d like to see most of that money spent on dealing with surface street drag racing -Olive to Empire Center on SF Rd, 3rd, Glen Oaks, and 5Fwy, aggressive quick start/stop behavior, very dark tinted windows, donut driving, loud mufflers, and the like. Take the message to the schools, churches, community leaders who have influence, parents, other places of influence.
We should all wear sensors that show if we are drunk and if we’ve been vaccinated. If you’ve got nothing to hide you won’t mind.
I wish the city and police put as much effort and expense into ticketing people who text and drive. They are a bigger nuisance and more dangerous than someone walking on Chandler not wearing a mask.
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