Burbank Police Department Announces DUI Checkpoint on August 26


In an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of its residents, the Burbank Police Department has announced a DUI checkpoint operation scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2023. Starting from 9:00 P.M., officers will be stationed at an undisclosed location within city limits. While the exact spot remains undisclosed for operational reasons, such locations are typically determined by analyzing historical data on DUI crashes and arrests.

Historically, the city of Burbank has always prioritized the safety of its road users. This latest initiative is in line with past measures that underscore the importance of responsible driving. DUI checkpoints, with roots tracing back decades across the nation, have played a critical role in reducing alcohol-related incidents on the roads. The main objective, contrary to popular belief, is not to apprehend offenders but rather to deter potential impaired drivers, promoting overall public safety.

Officers at the checkpoint will be on the lookout for signs of both alcohol and drug impairments while also verifying the validity of drivers’ licenses.

In connection with this announcement, the Burbank Police Department also issued an essential reminder to the community. While many might associate impaired driving primarily with alcohol, there are other less-recognized culprits. Prescription medications, certain over-the-counter drugs, and even legally purchased marijuana can adversely affect one’s ability to drive.

While California stands as one of the pioneering states in legalizing both medicinal and recreational marijuana use, driving under its influence remains illegal. Historical records show that after marijuana’s legalization in the state, there was a noticeable need for increased public awareness campaigns highlighting the dangers of driving under the influence of this drug.

The consequences of driving under the influence can be severe, both in terms of public safety and individual repercussions. A DUI conviction can leave a significant dent in one’s pocketbook, with an average cost of $13,500 in fines and penalties. Additionally, convicted drivers face potential license suspensions, making everyday activities like commuting to work or school a significant challenge.

The upcoming DUI checkpoint and its related operations are generously funded through grant money, underscoring the community’s commitment to maintaining its roads’ safety. Residents are urged to plan their outings accordingly and always enlist a designated driver if they intend to consume substances that could impair their driving abilities.

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    1. While I recognize that the well-meaning aim of DUI checkpoints is to promote public safety by catching a tiny number of impaired drivers, I strongly advise against Burbank’s forthcoming DUI checkpoint and such operations in the future for several key reasons:

      1. **Misallocation of Resources**: Despite the funding for this checkpoint coming from a grant, it is crucial to consider the more beneficial avenues that this money could take. When the city accepts funds for low-impact projects like this, it indirectly affects taxpayers. That money, instead of being spent on short-term initiatives like checkpoints, could be returned to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts.

      2. **Questionable Efficacy**: Research indicates that the deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints on drunk driving and alcohol-related accidents is limited at best. Their effectiveness is debatable, particularly when compared to other law enforcement methods that could be more strategic and less intrusive.

      3. **Constitutional Concerns**: Issues related to civil liberties and the Fourth Amendment cannot be ignored. Although DUI checkpoints have been deemed legal by the U.S. Supreme Court, they remain a point of contention. These checkpoints stop individuals without specific reason to believe they have committed a crime, which runs counter to established principles of American civil liberties.

      4. **Narrow Focus**: DUI checkpoints only scratch the surface of the larger issue of substance abuse. They are momentary solutions that fail to address the deeper, underlying issues that contribute to impaired driving. Programs that offer a more lasting impact could be a better use of resources.

      5. **Traffic Congestion**: These checkpoints often result in bottlenecks and delays, inconveniencing drivers who are completely sober.

      Given these points, I strongly recommend that the City of Burbank turn down the grant for this DUI checkpoint and end these programs. I further urge the city to advocate for these funds to be returned to the community in the form of tax reductions. Taxes hit us from all directions and well-meaning, but low-return programs such as this fleece the wallets of us all. Please end this practice. We need community policing, but we do not need “optics” projects such as this.

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