No Better Time
Almost every day, our local officers arrest someone for driving under the influence, and on New Year’s Eve that number increases.
During the holidays, we want to celebrate with our friends and family, to remember the fantastic year we had and look forward to the promise of next year. But it is during the holidays when we can let down our guard and drive while impaired.
I can’t think of a better time than right before New Year’s Eve to remind everyone that driving can be risky—and using alcohol and drugs while driving can be downright dangerous.
Our officers have seen the horrific results of vehicle collisions, and they are passionate about removing intoxicated drivers from the road. Police officers don’t want to be mean or unfair. In fact, it’s just the opposite: they are committed to saving lives, lives we know can be taken when people drive while intoxicated.
Even if no one gets hurt or killed while a driver is impaired, DUI arrests and fines are expensive. A DUI can cost more than $2,700 in court fines and fees, plus additional attorney’s fees, 48 hours in jail, the time to complete an alcohol education program, and the loss of a driver’s license.
So please, do the right thing this New Year’s Eve and designate a sober driver to get everyone home safely. Decide early, who will drink and who will drive, or prearrange transportation with a taxi or through Uber.
If you are with friends who have not planned well and it appears they should not be driving home, don’t take “no” for an answer. I know this can be tough. It can be incredibly awkward to tell a friend or family member they shouldn’t drive. But please take a stand: do not let anyone drive while intoxicated.
I can assure you our officers will take a stand. We will do everything we can to prevent drunk driving.
Even if you haven’t been drinking, driving while fatigued can lead to tragedy. The American Automobile Association says drivers with 5-6 hours of sleep a night had almost twice the crash risk of those with a full 7-8 hours. Drivers with only 4-5 hours of sleep a night had 4.3 times the risk, and those who got less than 4 hours of sleep during the last 24-hour period had 11.5 times the risk of being involved in a collision. Most alarming is that more than half of the drivers involved in these fatigue-related collisions had no warning before they fell asleep at the wheel.
During the holidays, those of us in law enforcement are especially aware of the dangers of driving. That’s why we work as hard as possible to make local roads as safe as we can.
Once we do all we can to help people make it through New Year’s Eve safe and sound, we’ll begin focusing on another goal at the Ukiah Police Department: hiring great people.
Right now, we have several officer vacancies, so in the new year we’ll be looking for local, community-minded men and women interested in law enforcement, so we can train them as police officers.
If you’re interested in helping people, in making a difference in your community, we invite you to consider joining our team. We need great people from diverse backgrounds who want to serve the Ukiah community.
You should know that here at UPD, we are committed to recruiting and developing local candidates—people like you—who have grown up here, people who have made the choice to live and work in Ukiah, people who are invested in keeping our neighborhoods and business districts safe.
You can find out more by visiting our website, Facebook page, or giving us a call. We’d love to hear from anyone considering a law enforcement career.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.