While alcohol-impaired driving remains the most serious problem on our roadways, the percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with other impairing substances in their system keeps rising.
Faced with more instances of DUID – Driving Under the Influence of Drugs –the Visalia Police Department is reiterating the message that “DUI Doesn‟t Just Mean Booze.”
"The message takes on increased importance with the state set to begin licensing commercial nonmedical marijuana sales on January 1, 2018," says Sergeant Damon Maurice, Visalia Police Department. "The Visalia PD DUI Traffic Unit will be deploying this holiday weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers."
A DUI/Driver‟s License Checkpoint will deploy on the New Years Eve weekend in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.
These extra officers on the road, along with routine patrols, are aimed to drastically reduce impaired driving on our community‟s roadways.
“It has taken more than 35 years to convince the vast majority of the public that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, illegal and socially unacceptable,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “With more dying on our roadways every day, we can‟t afford to take that long when it comes to driving under the influence of prescription medications, marijuana, illicit drugs and even some over-the-counter medications.”
In addition to marijuana, a driver could be subject to a DUI arrest if they are under the influence of prescription medications like sleep aids, tranquilizers, barbiturates, opiates and other painkillers, anti-depressants, and even over-the-counter allergy or cough medications.
"Plan your sober ride home before the party begins this holiday weekend," says Sgt. Maurice.
Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.
The app has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to Your Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to "Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1."