SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Police Department Traffic Division will be conducting a new teen driver safety course aimed at educating teen drivers on drinking and driving.
The Teen Alcohol Awareness Program, or (T.A.A.P) is geared toward newly licensed teen drivers and teen drivers finishing high school.
TAAP will pair police officers with teens and their parents in a classroom setting, much like other outreach programs, and educate them on the subject of impaired driving. TAAP takes the effort a step further and provides the teen participants with an in person experience at an active SDPD DUI checkpoint.
Classroom time starts at 9 p.m. at the San Diego Police Department Traffic Division located at 9265 Aero Drive in San Diego. Once the classroom time is completed, parents will be excused and asked to return to the police station to pick up their teen drivers at 1:30 a.m. The teens will be transported to an active police DUI checkpoint where they will be given a firsthand view of the operation. Participants will see every facet of the DUI checkpoint including the initial contact and screening of drivers, the detention of drivers, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) performed by drivers, and any arrests of drivers that may occur. Teen participants will also gain an understanding of how vehicle passengers are impacted when the driver of a vehicle is detained and evaluated for DUI, or arrested for DUI. Finally, teen participants will be brought into the checkpoint secondary operations area and perform the SFST. The teens will be walked through the arrest procedures and receive a tour of the prisoner processing facilities.
Once finished at the checkpoint, the teens will be driven back to the San Diego Police Department’s Traffic Division where they will complete a brief survey before their parent or guardian picks them up.
“We’re hoping this increases awareness as to the dangers and consequences of driving while impaired; not just for the teen drivers, but also for the parents as well. We hope this experience will foster open dialogue between the parents and the teen drivers after the class,” said Officer Mark McCullough, one of the class instructors.
There is no cost for this course to class participants, and the course is expected to be held once monthly. To register for this class, contact Officer McCullough.
Funding for this new training is provided to San Diego Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.