Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Enforcement and Education
Avoid the 23 is a holiday tradition in San Mateo County. All 23 law enforcement agencies in the county join forces to crack down on the drinking driver. This is accomplished by:
- Adding extra officers whose only task is to seek out and arrest impaired drivers
- Overtime hours are authorized to put more officers on the street during the holidays
- Reassigning officers to specific areas likely to have higher concentrations of impaired drivers
- Emphasizing drinking driver enforcement with officers on regular patrol
- Public education, including extensive advertising and media coverage of DUI checkpoints and special enforcement teams
- Community help
- Strict, Quick, Zero Tolerance enforcement
The California Office of Traffic Safety and the Chiefs and Sheriffs Association of San Mateo County sponsor the campaign. Avoid the 23 along with Avoid the 13 in Santa Clara County, Avoid the 21 in the East Bay and Avoid the Six Pack in Santa Cruz County in securing the Peninsula, East Bay and Silicon Valley against drinking drivers.
The Costs Of Drinking And Driving Are High
Here are approximate monetary costs for a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) misdemeanor:
- Fine, penalty assessment, other assessments and fees, jail booking fee: $2,700
- Emergency response fee charged by some police departments: $300
- Insurance-added cost per year: $500
- DMV License Reissue Fee: $100
- Alcohol Education Program: $400
- Car Impound Fee: $90
- Lawyer’s charges for pre-trial at consultations, trial and expert witnesses: $5,000
- Transportation Costs: A four-month pass on SamTrans:$116
Drink And Drive – Lose Your License
The law enforcement officer who pulls you over will take your license away on the spot if you’re caught driving with a blood alcohol level of . 08 or higher. You’ll be issued a 30-day temporary driving permit pending a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will suspend your license for four months. There is no court hearing or plea bargaining. If you’re a repeat offender, your license will be suspended for one year.
What Can The Average Person Do?
- Designate A Driver!
Before you go to a party, designate someone in your group who will commit to consuming only non-alcoholic beverages and will drive everyone else home safely. Your judgment is the first thing to go once you start to drink, so don’t wait until you get to the party. If everyone in your group wants to drink, call a taxicab to take you to the party as well as bring you home. The fare is a real bargain compared to the dangers and costs of drinking and driving.
- Give Parties Responsibly!!
If you’re giving a party, ask your guests for the name of their designated driver the minute they come in the door and don’t serve alcohol to that person. Serve food to buffer the alcohol, don’t over-serve, pour standard drinks instead of doubles and serve non-alcoholic beverages and snacks during the last hour of the party so people can start to bum off the alcohol.
- Give Law Enforcement A Call
Call 9-1-1 if you see a drunk or impaired driver or any other crime in progress. The dispatcher will direct your call immediately. If you are with someone who is impaired, and they insist on driving, do everything you can to keep them out of the car. Call the police if necessary, to prevent them from becoming one the the many holiday death statistics or a killer of the innocent. Like the ad says…”Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” Be a friend and save a life…it could be your own!