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Police to Conduct DIU Checkpoint Saturday Night

By Lookout Staff

Dec. 19 - In an effort to nab holiday revelers driving drunk, the Santa Monica Police Department will conduct a Driving Under the Influence Checkpoint on Saturday night at an undisclosed location in the city.

"It's our goal to make this holiday season one of the safest seasons ever for those visiting and shopping in Santa Monica," said Police Chief James T. Butts Jr.

Because of the greater number of people who are on the road and who are celebrating, the holiday season is one of the highest periods for alcohol-related traffic deaths, according to a police department statement released Thursday.

"Santa Monica Police selected this period to bring this public awareness campaign to help prevent tragedies caused by drinking and driving," the statement said.

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) believes sobriety checkpoints are one of the most effective tools to detect and deter drunk drivers.

"Our roadways must be free from the threat of alcohol-impaired drivers," said Tina Pasco, executive director of MADD's Los Angeles chapter. "Highly publicized sobriety checkpoints alert motorist to stay off the roads or designate a non-drinking driver to avoid a drunk driving arrest."

In addition, Pasco said, "Checkpoints also provide an opportunity to remind motorists to buckle up because seatbelts are the best defense in a drunk driving crash."

Public opinion polls show strong support for sobriety checkpoints, which were ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990. Studies show a reduction in alcohol-impaired driving where checkpoints have been used.
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