Police Crack Down on Coachella Fest Drunk Driving
PALM DESERT - As the saying goes, "Drive hammered, get nailed," and residents of the desert say cracking down on drunk driving with saturation patrol and DUI checkpoints are the way to go. "You never know if that driver is drunk or not and it's for public safety. I definitely say yes," says Palm Desert resident Mercey DeLaserna.
They're all in favor, especially because it's one of the busiest weekends for the Coachella Valley. "I think its a wonderful idea. It's the safest way we can go about keeping the kids safe during Coachella Fest. I think it's a great idea," says Jeanne Burns. She says the checkpoints are good.
In 2010 California saw 774 deaths from drunk driving. Over the past three years, the desert has seen four deaths, 60 injury crashes and 87 collisions. Palm Desert police will be out Friday and Saturday nights between 7 pm and 3 am with the intent of looking for impaired driving. They will add six additional officers to the project, part of the departments ongoing traffic safety campaign.
"I think it's great for the community. I actually grew up here and we had nothing like this so I am totally in favor of it," says Burns.
And while many people say Coachella Fest should stay in the desert. "There should be a designated driver, but I like the festivals," says DeLaserna. Safety should be priority one. "Just don't do it. Don't get behind the wheel drunk. It's not worth it. Just don't do it," says Burns.
Funding for this program is from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.