Hundreds Screened in Redwood City DUI Checkpoints, 2 Arrested

RCPD reports back on how effective three local DUI checkpoints were between Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Local police say three DUI checkpoints held between Christmas and New Year's Eve in Redwood City were very effective, according to a statement sent out Thursday.

The Redwood City Police Department (RCPD)'s Traffic Unit conducted a DUI checkpoint on Dec. 29 at three different locations in Redwood City between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.

The locations were southbound El Camino Real at Hopkins Avenue, southbound Broadway at Beech Street, and northbound El Camino Real at Brewster Avenue.

"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," the department's statement said.

"DUI checkpoints have been proven effective at reducing DUI deaths and injuries," the statement read further. "A major component of these checkpoints is the deterrent effects it has on those who might drive drunk or drug-impaired - they bring about more awareness and encourage everyone to use sober, designated drivers." 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. 

Here are the stats from Redwood City's DUI checkpoints of Dec. 29, 2012:

  • 708 vehicles passed through or by the checkpoint; 
  • 540 drivers were screened; 
  • 2 drivers were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol; 
  • 1 citation was issued. 

The Redwood City Police Department indicated it will be conducting additional DUI checkpoints in the coming months "as part of its ongoing commitment to lowering deaths and injuries upon our streets and highways."

See our map to the left for where the checkpoints were spread out around the city.

Do you think DUI checkpoints are effective? Tell us in the comments below.


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Doug January 04, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Amazing that the police -- and this "article" -- are touting it as a success. Out of the 540 drivers screened (their time wasted, their cars running and burning fuel and emitting extra exhaust while waiting to be screened), only two arrests: that's 0.37%. So the police are busy wasting the resources/time of 99.63% of the people. I'll state the obvious: I'm not condoning drunk/impaired driving. I am saying that all evidence points to this exercise being a waste of taxpayer money and that other (less expensive) methods of catching drunk drivers should be explored and employed. Remember this colossal waste of money and time next time the police take an inexcusable amount of time to respond to your call because they're "short staffed" or come crying to the public for a handout because they've blown their budget...
Cliff Keith January 04, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Besides what Doug said above...Is it just me or does this ability of our police to stop anyone at will for doing what they "think" might be a crime an infringement of our civil liberties? This smells like, and feels like a scenes out of a WWII movie I have seen in the past, of brown shirted Nazi German soldiers. Papers...Papers please. Don't get me wrong I am all for getting drunk drivers off the road. However, this method of road blocks is not good for accomplishing that goal.
Craig B Richins January 04, 2013 at 09:34 PM
I think the "scare" factor causes people to think about their driving behavior which causes them to drive more carefully, especially at night.


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