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Santa Monica Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint
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By Lookout Staff

December 13, 2016 -- In an effort to reduce accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Santa Monica police will conduct a DUI driver’s license checkpoint on Friday.

From 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday traffic officers will be stationed at an undisclosed checkpoint within city looking for objective signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment and to verify that motorists have a valid driver’s license.

Officers can screen hundreds of drivers during the overnight checkpoints, which are routinely staged in Santa Monica and other municipalities around holidays, as well as during other times of the year.

"Research shows that accidents involving impaired drivers can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized enforcement checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely," Santa Monica police officials said.

In California, DUI's led to 867 fatalities and more than 23,000 serious injuries in 2013, the last year data was compiled by state authorities.

The latest national data show that 10,076 people were killed by impaired drivers, with 30 percent of the drivers showing traces of one or more drugs in their systems.

In fact, the study found that more drivers tested positive for drugs (14 percent) than they did for alcohol (7.3 percent).

Authorities said many of the fatalities could have been prevented by choosing a designated driver.

Santa Monica police urge individuals to report drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies.

Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints, state officials said.

Funding for Friday's checkpoint is provided to the Santa Monica Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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