Santa Maria Police Department will hold a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed location within the city limits from 6 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday, said Traffic Bureau supervisor Sgt. Michael McGehee.

During the checkpoint, officers will look for signs that drivers are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both, McGehee said.

Officers also will be on the lookout for unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles.

McGehee said checkpoint locations are chosen based on a history of DUI crashes and arrests, although the primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests but to promote public safety by deterring people from driving impaired.

“The safety of our community is and always will be our mission,” McGehee said. “We are still out there in the middle of a pandemic because driving under the influence is still dangerous and puts a further strain on critical resources.”

He pointed out impaired driving is not caused just by alcohol. Some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving, and while medical and recreational cannabis are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is not.

Drivers charged with DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.

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