Bakersfield Police increasing vigilance for impaired drivers over Labor Day weekend

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A study done by AAA calls the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day the 100 deadliest days for young drivers.

Over that period, there’s a 14 percent increase in fatal crashes. Bakersfield Police says the root of teen accidents is distracted driving.

“You can get a DUI arrest for not only alcohol but prescription medication, and then of course with other drugs and narcotics, like even with marijuana,” Holcombe said.

But it’s not all just alcohol or drug-related. Texting, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt are some of the top factors in fatal collisions–along with night driving.

According to Triple-A, 10 percent of all deadly crashes at night involve a teen driver. Thirty-six percent of those occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Holcombe also reminds the community that BPD will be on high alert over Labor Day weekend, upping the number of officers looking specifically for impaired drivers. 

“All of the different things we employ that are out there right now are meant to educate, to change people’s driving habits, just for a goal of safety in mind for the entire city,” Holcombe said.

BPD will also be implementing more DUI checkpoints, and there will be an increase in vice detectives looking out for vendors selling alcohol to minors.

“The size of Bakersfield, the ability for people to get rides, utilizing taxis and those private services–there’s really just no excuse anymore for getting behind the wheel impaired,” Holcombe said.

BPD suggests some alternatives to getting home safely: naming a designated driver, calling an Uber, or calling a sober friend. If you see or suspect an impaired driver, call 911.

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