Checkpoints raise drivers’ DUI awareness |

Checkpoints raise drivers’ DUI awareness

Truckee California Highway Patrol officers took to Highway 28 in Kings Beach recently to conduct a checkpoint for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol.

In the first hour, three people were arrested, while a fourth arrest came in the last hour of the checkpoint.

“It was the most that we’ve ever arrested at a checkpoint,” said Ron Wulff, public affairs officer. “In a four-hour period we usually only have one or two arrests.”

Capt. Don Bossingham agreed and added that the stops are mainly for DUI awareness, an opportunity to show drivers that CHP are on the roads making sure drivers are not driving drunk.

“This night was amazing,” Bossingham said. “We even advertised that we would be out here.”

Overall, 351 drivers drove through the checkpoint. Of those, 11 received field sobriety tests including practical and preliminary alcohol screening tests.

Four people were arrested, two confirmed from Truckee.

“People have to realize that the biggest thing that a person driving at night on our roads needs to be aware of is drunk drivers,” Wulff said. “There is usually only about 18 inches separating opposing traffic.”

To date in 1998, CHP made 303 DUI arrests, 11 of which were felony arrests involving injuries resulting from accidents.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office arrested 127 DUI drivers within Truckee town limits, four of which were felonies. One recent accident allegedly caused by DUI resulted in the death of a Sugar Bowl lift engineer, who was killed as a passenger in a car that hit a tree on Donner Pass Road near Donner Lake.

“Swerving a couple of feet into another lane can mean the difference between injury, serious injury and death,” Wulff said. “It’s dangerous enough on these mountain roads. Alcohol just ups the stakes.”

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