Santa Maria Police will conduct a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint Friday night in an attempt to catch alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers.

Scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., the checkpoint will be conducted by the Police Department’s Traffic Unit in an undisclosed part of the city. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and drug impairment and checking drivers for proper licensing.

The Police Department supports a new effort from the California Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,” a department spokesman said.

Last year, the Santa Maria Police Department investigated 191 DUI collisions that claimed four lives and resulted in another 32 injuries, the spokesman said.

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Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time and fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that could exceed $13,500.

Marijuana and prescription pills, particularly in combination with alcohol or other drugs, can impair drivers enough to result in a DUI arrest. 

Funding for the checkpoint is provided to the Police Department by a California Office of Traffic Safety grant, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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