PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Law enforcement agencies from across Los Angeles County arrested nearly 500 drivers over the weekend for driving under the influence and more arrests are likely as they continue their crackdown during the holiday season.
Over the next several days, DUI checkpoints and extra local DUI saturation patrols will be deployed throughout the county, law enforcement officials said.
The Santa Monica Police Department will be setting up its own DUI checkpoint Friday at an undisclosed location within the city by the sea, said SMPD Lt. Richard Lewis.
Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Those caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance rate increases, as well as fines, DUI classes, court probation and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, Lewis said.
“Over the course of the past year, traffic collisions involving impaired drivers/riders were involved in 89 collisions, which have injured 35 people,” said SMPD LT. Jay Trisler.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent, Trisler added.
He reminded drivers that if they plan on drinking to have a designated driver or call a taxi to get safely home.
Funding for the checkpoint is provided by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety.