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Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday After Last Operation Netted Three Arrests

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By Jorge Casuso

August 21, 2019 -- Santa Monica Police will conduct their third DUI checkpoint on Friday after the last operation led to three arrests and two impounded vehicles.

The DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint will take place at an undisclosed location within the city limits between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m., according to police.

"Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses," police officials said.

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The total cost of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs "can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out," police said.

During the last checkpoint in Santa Monica, conducted on May 3, a total of 925 vehicles drove through the checkpoint during the eight-hour operation, according to officials.

Of those, 353 vehicles were screened and 20 sobriety tests were administered, said Lt. Candice Cobarrubias, the Police Department spokesperson.

The operation led to three DUI alcohol arrests, five citations for driving without a license or with one that has been suspended and two vehicles impounded.

While no DUI drug arrests were made, driving while under he influence of illegal or prescription drugs has become an increasingly serious problem in California.

A study of active California drivers found that 14 percent tested positive for drugs that may impair driving, double the 7.3 percent that tested positive for alcohol.

Studies have shown that about 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes in California had one or more drugs in their systems.

In 2014, collisions involving the use of alcohol led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in California, state authorities said.

In Santa Monica, between 2015 and 2018, officers investigated 163 DUI collisions that have claimed two lives and resulted in another 56 injuries, according to the latest data provided by the department.

Funding for this checkpoint comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. to report a drunk driver call 9-1-1.

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