The San Luis Obispo Police Department released a statement that detailed what a DUI citation entails and emphasized how devastating the penalties for this type of arrest can be, in a recent press release.
The original purpose of this press release was to announce a DUI saturation patrol on Sept. 23, meaning additional officers would be out from 7p.m. to 3a.m. in pursuit of drunk drivers. However, Sergeant Jeff Booth revealed that this DUI patrol did not occur as the two officers assigned to it had other police business to respond to.
Though the most recent patrol was cancelled, Booth said these patrols geared toward finding impaired drivers are funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety and occur on a monthly basis. The police department also conducts two traffic stops every year.
“We’re just out there trying to keep the streets safe by taking people that are impaired off the street and getting people to make better decisions by getting a designated driver or finding alternative ways to get places if they’re going to be drinking,” Booth said.
According to SLOPD, drivers who receive a first-time DUI citation face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties along with a suspended license. The department also reminded the public in their press release that impaired driving doesn’t always specifically pertain to alcohol use. The use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs or marijuana can also result in a citation.
Although a patrol was originally taking place on Sept. 23rd, Booth confirmed the police arrest people for DUI citations all year long. Booth also elaborated on ways to avoid a citation.
“There’s all kinds of alternative transportation. There’s all kinds of rides for hire. There’s ways you can grab somebody and say ‘Hey, you’re not drinking tonight, you’re gonna be designated driver’… It’s just about making good choices and making plans before you go out,” Booth said.