I actually like the program. So often people feel they are less impaired than they really are. People do not realize they are impaired until they are driving. Some pull over (sometimes too late). Other times people feel they are on the way home and can soldier through. The program will provide context for the young people on how sublte the clues the police see to make the arrest. When I was a prosecutor and went to my first checkpoints I was expecting falling down drunks. I was watching someone who I thought was doing well get arrested. The police note little actions that they conclude is due to impairment. Forget it could be bad balance, sleepiness, being scared to death, etc. DUI checkpoints are a main subject of conversation in in DUI defense. It is good to see the police trying to be proative with teens.
The San Diego Police Department this weekend will launch an ongoing series of teen driving safety courses aimed at discouraging young motorists from driving while intoxicated.
The SDPD Teen Alcohol Awareness Program, geared toward newly licensed teen drivers and those just finishing high school, will begin Saturday evening, traffic Officer Mark McCullough said. Organizers hope to hold one session each month thereafter, he said.
TAAP will gather teens and their parents in a classroom setting to educate them about the risks and social costs of impaired driving, then give the youths direct experiences at DUI checkpoints, McCullough said.
The sessions will begin at 9 p.m. at the SDPD Traffic Division station on Aero Drive. When the classroom sessions conclude, parents will be excused and asked to return to pick up their children several hours later, according to McCullough.
The teens then will be transported to active sobriety checkpoints, where they will witness all facets of the operations, including initial contact and screening of drivers, detention of motorists, field sobriety tests and any DUI arrests that occur.
The participating youths also will visit secondary checkpoint operations areas, perform sobriety test, learn about arrest procedures and receive tours of prisoner-processing facilities. “We’re hoping this (program) increases awareness as to the dangers and consequences of driving while impaired – not just for the teen drivers, but also for the parents as well,” said McCullough, who will be among the class instructors.
“We hope this experience will foster open dialogue between the parents and the teen drivers after the class.”
The department is working with local high schools to generate interest in and support for the courses, and is getting word out to the general public via news outlets and social media.
Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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23152. (a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle. (b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving. (c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (d) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving. (e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle. (f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle. (g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.
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