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Drugs and Alcohol

Sheriff’s deputies will be conducting a checkpoint in West Hollywood on Saturday night to screen for intoxicated drivers and those without drivers licenses.

The exact location of the checkpoint has not been announced by the Sheriff, but it will be somewhere in West Hollywood from Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 7 PM until approximately 3AM on Sunday morning. (UPDATE: John Duran announced that it would be on San Vicente.)

According to the Sheriff’s Department, a major component of these checkpoints is to increase awareness, as well as educate the public, on the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage sober designated drivers. By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department believes motorists can be deterred from drinking and driving, which ultimately will save lives.

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Weho Daily will only announce information on checkpoints that is announced in advance to aid law enforcement agencies in their anti-DUI public awareness campaigns, and only in advance of the operation hours.  As such, we will not publish or broadcast the exact location even when it becomes known to us.

The checkpoint will be conducted by the Risk Management Bureau’s Traffic Services Detail, possibly assisted by West Hollywood based personnel.  It appears that normal West Hollywood patrols will be staffed at usual levels.

Statewide, overall traffic deaths have declined 23 percent from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009 and total traffic fatalities are at their lowest level in six decades. DUI deaths have declined from 1,132 in 2007 to 950 in 2009, which is a decrease of over 16 percent.

A first time DUI conviction is estimated to cost the defendant anywhere between $6,000 to $10,000 when all the potential fines, fees, classes, lawyers, work days missed, and increased insurance for years to come have been factored in.

All too often, members of our community are senselessly injured or killed on local roadways by impaired drivers. Alcohol impaired deaths make up the largest number of vehicle fatalities, with 31 percent of all vehicle fatalities caused by a drunk driver.

Checkpoints are an effective and proven method in lowering alcohol related traffic deaths. This DUI/DL checkpoint is an effort to reduce those tragedies, as well to insure that drivers possess a valid driver’s license.

Traffic volume and weather permitting, all vehicles may be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested.

“Our objective is to send a clear message to those who are considering driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs – Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest,” said a Sheriff’s Department statement. “The public is encouraged to help keep roadways safe by calling 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver.”

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety administration

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