Visalia police say drugs are a much bigger contributor than alcohol in impaired driving in California.
Sgt. James Andrews said a study of California drivers found that about 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study also found that about 14 percent of drivers test positive for drugs that impair driving, compared to 7.3 percent of drivers who test positive for just alcohol.
Andrews released the statistics along with the results of screening nearly 900 vehicles during a checkpoint Friday at Dinuba and Vine avenues from 6 p.m. to midnight. Police made one arrest for driving under the influence.
Andrews said Visalia police set up checkpoints in locations that have the greatest risk of drunken and drugged drivers. Officers at checkpoints also screen for valid driver’s licenses, and 21 drivers were cited for operating a vehicle without a license at Friday’s checkpoint.
Penalties for driving under the influence include jail, fines, DUI classes, license suspension or other expenses that can exceed $10,000, Andrews said. Another checkpoint is planned for July 7.