The Oakhurst office of the California Highway Patrol conducted a sobriety/driver license checkpoint on Highway 41 in Oakhurst Saturday night, randomly stopping 105 vehicles of the 514 that passed through between 8 p.m. and 12:30 a.m..
Eight drivers were field tested. After a roadside evaluation, those eight drivers and the balance of stopped vehicles were sent on their way, showing no signs of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
No arrests were made for any violations, and no vehicles were impounded for not being registered or for a driver not being in possession of a valid driver’s license.
“Even though traffic was heavy because of the holiday, the checkpoint went smoothly and we appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation,” said CHP Sgt. Ethan Jackson. “The results of the checkpoint clearly show the CHP’s message of traffic safety and the dangers of DUI are being heard. With DUI still being one of the leading causes of traffic collisions, it is encouraging to see such awareness in Eastern Madera County.”
The checkpoint, under the direction Sgt. Jackson, was staffed by six CHP officers who are trained in the detection of alcohol and/or impaired drivers. The officers were also equipped with handheld breath-testing devices which provide an accurate measure of blood alcohol concentrations of suspected intoxicated drivers.
The six officers were assisted by five recently sworn-in CHP senior volunteers.
Motorists approaching the sobriety/driver license checkpoint in the southbound lane of Highway 41 in front of London Properties, saw informational signs advising them that a checkpoint was ahead. Once stopped, officers explained the purpose of the checkpoint.
“All too often, members of the community are senselessly injured or killed on our local roadways in traffic collisions, especially when the collision involves intoxicated or unlicensed drivers,” Commander J.R. Daughrity said. “The goal of the CHP is to ensure the safe passage of each and every motorist by targeting roads where there is a high frequency of intoxicated and unlicensed drivers. It also sends a clear message to those who consider mixing drinking with driving. A sobriety/license checkpoint is a proven effective tool for achieving this goal and is designed to augment existing patrol operations.”
Funding for the operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.