Downey Police cracking down on DUIs

DOWNEY - A DUI and driver's license checkpoint is planned at an undisclosed location in Downey on Friday, Dec. 20, between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The checkpoint is part of an anti-drunk driving program being administered by Downey Police after receiving a $40,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Twenty-seven people were hurt in Downey last year as a result of alcohol- or drug-impaired vehicle collisions.

"In addition to DUI and driver's license checkpoints, you will also see us making lots of stops during this highly visible enforcement period," said Police Chief Carl Charles. "If we suspect anyone is driving while under the influence, officers will show zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving."

Data shows that December is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of drunk drivers on the road. Nationally between 2007 and 2011, there were 4,169 people killed during the month of December in crashes that involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 percent or higher.

In California during those same five Decembers, 505 people were killed and thousands seriously injured.

The Downey Police Department offered the following tips to be safe during the holidays:

*Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk, or worse, crashing while driving

*If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins

*If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation

*Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.

*If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone's life, and inaction could cost a life