It’s no trick: If you are under 21 and get pulled over tonight — or any time for that matter —driving after taking just a sip of alcohol you will likely lose your license.
A full-scale driving under the influence arrest whether it is from alcohol, marijuana or medication can easily cost more than $10,000 once insurance costs, diversion program tuition, fines, and legal costs are taken into account.
Manteca Police Officer David Bright hopes those who drink keep those two things in mind if they think about getting behind a wheel. And while the odds of drunken driving accidents happening is statistically at one of its highest points during the year on Halloween especially when it lands on a Friday — so are the odds of you getting caught.
That’s because Manteca Police as well as other agencies in the region have received federal pass-through funding to pay for officer overtime to conduct saturation patrols looking for impaired drivers tonight as well as through the weekend.
Bright shared the details about driving under the influence laws and what happens during such arrests as part of a talk Thursday before the Manteca Rotary Club at Prestige Living.
Unlike those 21 and older, anyone under the age of 21 suspected of drunken driving can’t decline a breathalyzer test. Even if the under 21 driver does not show any since of impairment, if there is alcohol detected the driver can be cited. The under-age drivers that aren’t legally drunk but have consumed alcohol and driven are referred to the Department of Motor Vehicles for an administrative hearing. Typically that results in their driving privileges being revoked.
Bright has worked as a Manteca Police officer for 11 years. He is considered one of the department’s top experts on impaired driving testing.
He noted legal prescription medicine such as Vicrodin can impair driving sometimes even worse than alcohol. The law doesn’t differentiate penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or legal prescriptions.
Sobering statistics compiled by the Center for Disease Control shared by Bright include:
• In 2012, one out of every three drivers killed in drunken driving accidents were between the ages of 21 and 24 with 27percent ages 25 to 34, and 24 percent ages 35 to 44.
• Of the 1,168 kids between newborn and age 12 that were killed in auto accidents in 2012, there were 239 killed in accidents involving drunk or buzzed drivers.
• The majority of drunken driving accidents happen between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.