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The San Francisco Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be conducting DUI saturation patrols Friday evening.

The patrols began at 7 p.m. It will end at 3 a.m. Saturday.

Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment by checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).

Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, along with the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the police department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to report drunk drivers by calling 911.

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