Labor Day Weekend Checkpoints Target Drunken Drivers

Police were out in force on Labor Day Weekend looking for drunken drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An officer stands sentry at a sobriety checkpoint in Glendale in July 2013. Police were out in force looking for drunken drivers over the Labor Day weekend.

    Officials made 12 percent more DUI-related arrests during a two-week, end-of-summer crackdown against drunken drivers across LA County this year, authorities said on Saturday.

    Police from 100 agencies made 1,776 arrests in a 15-day period that started Aug. 16, compared with 1,592 in the same period last year, officials said.

    The announcement comes as police conduct a Labor Day weekend blitz against drunk drivers that started Friday night..

    As part of the Labor Day weekend enforcement so far, police in Malibu and Santa Clarita made three arrests for suspected DUI overnight Friday, authorities said.

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    Deputies in Malibu set the checkpoint up between 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Saturday at Pacific Coast Highway and north and southbound Carbon Canyon Road, said Sgt. Philip Brooks of the Los Angeles County sheriff's Malibu/Lost Hills Station.

    Out of 1,561 stopped vehicles, four people were arrested for outstanding warrants, eight were taken into custody for driving without a valid driver's license and six unlicensed drivers were booked.

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    Studies have shown that DUI crashes caused by drug use, as opposed to alcohol, are on the rise. As people get ready to hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, SoCal authorities are getting ready to set up DUI checkpoints. Police are checking for both alcohol impairment, but impairment related to drug use. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 24, 2013.

    In Santa Clarita, a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint in netted one DUI suspect, authorities said.

    Deputies set up the checkpoint at Newhall Ranch Road and Grandview Drive from 6 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Department.

    Out of the 1,093 cars that were screened, two people were given field sobriety tests, seven people were cited for lack of a valid driver's license and 13 motorists were cited for other vehicle code violations, authorities said.

    Over the past five years, DUI collisions have claimed 11 lives and resulted in 255 injury crashes harming 363 of our friends and neighbors, said Sgt. Richard Cohen.

    “If everyone planned ahead for sober, non-drinking designated drivers, these numbers could be lowered to zero,” he told City News Service.

    Checkpoints were planned for between 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday at three intersections -- Topanga Boulevard and Devonshire Street in Chatsworth, Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue in Silver Lake and Olympic Boulevard and Lake Street in the Pico-Union district, police said.

    Beefed up anti-DUI patrols will also be mounted in the LAPD's 77th Street Station patrol area in South Los Angeles between 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday, police said.

    City News Service contributed to this report.

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