Tom Sanders

The days of drivers breaking DUI laws have yet to go by the wayside.

On Sep. 23, the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) conducted a DUI checkpoint at the intersection of Santa Rosa and Oak streets. Between 10:15 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., SLOPD screened 834 vehicles, and arrested four students, two of them from Cal Poly, and cited two other drivers under the age of 21 for having alcohol in their system, according to a press release by SLOPD.

Additional violations included “a driver who was asked by a Cal Poly police officer to report to a secondary screening point near campus, because he did not have his driver’s license,” said Peter Hubbard, SLOPD Traffic Sgt. “The driver, a local male college student, fled from the checkpoint at a high speed and hit a fire hydrant near 1262 Hathaway St., then drove off.”

The vehicle was found in a local apartment complex, and was later impounded. The driver was identified and will be charged with a hit and run, as well as evading a police officer, Hubbard said.

A week following the incidents, Cal Poly President Warren Baker sent out a mass e-mail to students concerning his thoughts on drinking.

“Within the last few weeks, seven Cal Poly students have been arrested off-campus for underage drinking. Please avoid placing yourselves in situations that might jeopardize your long-term health and well-being, your future at the university or your career goals,” Baker said in the e-mail.

Students do not realize the long-term consequences when they decide to drink and drive, Hubbard said.

“If you’re over 21, your license will be suspended for at least six months. Underage DUI’s will have a suspended license for at least one year,” Hubbard said. “Many people do not think of the price they will have to pay over the long haul when they receive a DUI. For example, their insurance costs will increase immensely.”

Within the next near, SLOPD is planning various screening checkpoints around highly trafficked areas in San Luis Obispo and near Cal Poly. Hubbard said the police department plans to target major roadways in order to stop drivers of all ages from drinking and driving.

Hubbard said that a majority of DUI’s occur around the holiday season, with ages ranging from early 20s to late 40s and 50s.

The SLOPD will continue to push its Designated Driver program.

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