“Know Your Limit” Launched for Less Drunk Drivers

The Riverside Police Department (RPD) has noticed an increase in DUI arrests and traffic collisions involving impaired drivers. The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) provided funding to conduct DUI checkpoint and additional DUI patrols throughout the city in efforts to reduce drinking and driving. Officers have been provided additional training in DUI enforcement and investigation; however, this has not deterred drivers from getting behind the wheel and driving while intoxicated.
The Riverside Police Department has launched a new program called “Know Your Limit.” This program deploys RPD officers on foot into Riverside’s various entertainment districts where they contact club and bar patrons outside the businesses. Patrons are asked if they would like to volunteer to be checked with a breathalyzer device to see what their current blood alcohol content (BSC) level is. The officers explain that it’s an educational program designed to raise awareness of how little alcohol it takes to register a 0.08 percent BAC. During the contact the volunteer is asked if they feel the effects of any alcohol and if they would be safe to drive a vehicle. The patron then blows into the breathalyzer device and is shown the results. At the end of the volunteer’s participation in the program, they are provided the tube from the breathalyzer as a reminder, a sticker or an educational card that provides information on alcohol consumption and burn-off times as well as the common penalties for the first time DUI driver.
“It was surprising for most who volunteer on how high their blood alcohol content level is,” says Lieutenant Mark Rossi of the RPD Traffic bureau. “We had one volunteer who guessed his alcohol level was at .04. His actual BAC was .12.” Participants near or above .08 BAC are advised of other options besides driving to get home safely.
Subjects arrested for a first-time DUI offense in California can expect up to six months imprisonment or three years of probation, legal costs up to $10,000, a driver’s license suspension for up to six months, and having their vehicle impounded.
“The program is not intended to be a scare tactic but instead, to provide education to the community by encouraging patrons to designate a sober driver, seek alternate transportation or stay at an area hotel/motel,” said Lieutenant Rossi. RPD is also working with the Riverside Downtown Partnership (RDP) and other business owners to make sure the program is a positive influence on their patrons. The goal of the Know Your Limit program is a positive influence on their patrons. The goal of the Know Your Limit program is to prevent people from getting behind the wheel and driving intoxicated.

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