Despite numerous high-profile and public reminders that the Palm Springs Police Department (PSPD) Traffic Unit would conduct a DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint on Friday, one person was arrested for drunken driving and others cited for various infractions.

Some 395 vehicles were screened in the 5300 block of Dinah Shore Drive between the hours of 9 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., according to the PSPD. Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence and provide the greatest safety for officers and the public.

Following are the other results from the checkpoint:

  • 5 Drivers cited for driving a vehicle while unlicensed
  • 5 drivers cited for driving a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license

The checkpoint, which cost about $5,000 to staff, not including equipment, was paid for with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to “Report Drunk Driving – Call 911.” Nine officers and one sergeant staffed  the checkpoint along with volunteers from Citizens on Patrol, according to Sgt. Mike Villegas.

In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes.  The PSPD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,” according to a prepared statement from the PSPD.”  If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.  Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

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 feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.