CHP, California Highway Patrol, announced a new campaign designed to reduce the number of accidents caused by impaired driving. The program is supported by both California Highway Patrol and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and funded through OTS and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The campaign will center on instruction and enforcement program called “Statewide Impaired Driving Enforcement,” SIDE. The program is scheduled to run for a year, ending in September of 2017.

Details of SIDE
The SIDE program will include the addition of DUI checkpoints, stepped up patrols, and more traffic safety educational efforts. Saturation patrols will be added. These saturation patrols are areas where a concentration of officers will target drivers who may be impaired, and will observe vehicles for moving violations. Sobriety checkpoints are strategically placed areas where law enforcement officials check vehicle drivers for signs of impairment.

Types of Impaired Driving
There are several things that can cause impaired driving. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, medications, and illegal substances are all considered variations of impaired driving. Impaired drivers are responsible for thousands of accidents, injuries, and deaths every year across the country. In 2014, traffic records kept through the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, indicate that impaired driving was responsible for 10,478 injuries and 645 deaths in California.

Accidents Caused by Impaired Driving are Preventable
Accidents that are caused by impaired driving can and should be prevented. One of the most important steps towards a reduction in impaired driving is the education of drivers. The new program is intended to provide more instruction and information for drivers to inform them of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. The initiative will help to keep more people safe on the roadways.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
CHP will also continue to take part in the NHTSA “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This is a national effort to get impaired drivers off the country’s roadways. It is a major effort to prevent injuries, deaths, and damages. Drivers need to realize that they will be prosecuted if they drive while impaired. Consequences for impaired driving may include driver’s license suspension, fines, participation in educational or rehab programs, jail time, and more.

Prevention of Impaired Driving Accidents
People should plan for their transportation needs if they are going to drink. Designate a sober driver or take a cab or ride-share service. If you notice a driver who you suspect is impaired, it is best to call 911. Do not attempt to follow the vehicle. Instead, take note of the make, model, color, and tag number if possible, and the location of the car, so you can provide these details to the police. Do not put yourself in danger to make the call.

If you were injured due to an accident with an impaired driver, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Call the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea to schedule a consultation.


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