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Berkeley Police Department
Wednesday May 25th, 2016 :: 02:38 p.m. PDT


DUI Checkpoint results in 3 Arrests & 13 Citations

On May 20th, 2016, the Berkeley Police Department Traffic Bureau hosted a Sobriety Checkpoint at Telegraph Avenue and Stuart Street.  Funded by through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, Berkeley Police officers worked alongside California Highway Patrol officers to operate the checkpoint, detect impaired drivers, and enforce laws related to vehicle safety.

A completely preventable crime, impaired driving in Berkeley has resulted in loss of life and serious injury, incidents all too-well known to our community and to BPD officers. Since January 2012, alcohol-involved crashes have claimed four lives in the City of Berkeley. In 2014 alone, nineteen people were injured in DUI crashes.

During the 5 ½ hour operation, the drivers of all 760 vehicles which drove through the checkpoint were contacted.  Of those vehicles, officers conducted 22 Field Sobriety Tests, made 3 arrests, issued 13 citations, and impounded 3 vehicles after their drivers were arrested.

When we conduct a checkpoint, our goals are to conduct the checkpoint in the safest and most efficient manner, promote public safety, increase public awareness of the dangers associated with impaired driving, and serve as a deterrent to potentially impaired drivers.

Community members may wonder how DUI Checkpoints are operated. DUI Checkpoints are required by law to adhere to a number of standards. For example, motorists are selected to stop by a neutral criteria (e.g., every car is stopped, or every 5th car is stopped, etc). Checkpoints are publicized in advance, and are designed to be very visible to approaching traffic. They must be reasonably located, well-planned, and employ adequate safety precautions. Checkpoints are well lit, with large additional lighting equipment deployed and set to illuminate the checkpoint.

During the checkpoint, officers briefly contact motorists to look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, and check drivers for proper licensing.  When possible, specially trained officers will evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving—drug-impaired driving now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes, including a major injury collision involving a cyclist in February this year in Berkeley.

BPD’s work with the CHP on DUI checkpoints is only one element of our work to make the streets safer for our community. Patrol officers often make DUI arrests, especially at night. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently honored several BPD officers for their DUI enforcement work in 2015—Officers Andres Bejarano, Megan Schaefer, Darren Kacalek, and Devin Hogan combined to make over 110 impaired driving arrests.

We are emphasizing the preventable nature of drunk and drug-impaired driving in order to remind our community members that all it takes, to avoid impaired driving—and potential disaster— is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver, call a cab, or use a ride-sharing service… but whatever you do, don’t drink and drive.

Berkeley Police Department
2100 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 510-981-5900

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