Designated Drivers Could Save $7,000

Many local police departments to set up sobriety checkpoints on New Year's Eve

The California Highway Patrol says designated drivers could save partygoers as much as $7,000 or more this New Year's Eve.

That's $7,000, which is at least $3,000 more than the cost of a taxi ride from LAX to Woodland Hills.

It's the estimated price tag on a DUI arrest and conviction, which includes a tow and vehicle storage, bail, legal fees, fines and court fees, DUI education tuition, and the likely increase in auto insurance premiums.

The Automobile Club of Southern California says the cost for a first-timer can go as high as $13,500.

With an abundance of checkpoints being set up, the increased likelihood of getting pinched for that extra cup of punch makes for a very good reason to start doing some serious sucking up to a designated driver for New Year's Eve.

Cryptic public announcements of scheduled sobriety checkpoints have been appearing in Los Angeles newspapers for several weeks, such as one for Monterey Park that promises a stop will be set up "sometime at night" in a location that "will not be disclosed."

Much of the financing for the stepped-up enforcement comes from the state Office of Traffic Safety, which awarded $5.2 million in grants to 111 local law enforcement agencies this year specifically for holiday checkpoints, plus another $5.9 million grant given to the CHP for DUI enforcement.

According to the December DUI Crackdown FAQ posted by the Office of Traffic Safety, "in 2007, 1,616 people were killed and 28,987 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in California."

More information on sobriety checkpoints is available at the CHP Web site.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us