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Memorial Day Crackdown on Drunk and Unlicensed Drivers  

By Lookout Staff

May 27, 2011 – With celebrations planned to kick off the summer this Memorial Day weekend throughout Southern California, local and state law enforcement officials are telling motorists to think twice before drinking and getting behind the wheel.

Santa Monica Police will be conducting a Sobriety/ Driver’s License checkpoint on the evening of Friday, May 27 as part of the department’s ongoing efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol-involved crashes.

The third of several checkpoints to be conducted in Santa Monica over a twelve month period, officers will be stopping motorists to make sure they’re sober and removing those from the street who aren’t.

In addition, the checkpoint is also aimed at stopping motorists who are driving without a license -- a group which police say is especially dangerous on the road.

“Unlicensed drivers are over-represented in fatal crashes,” Santa Monica Police Sergeant Richard Lewis said in a press release.

Other local law enforcement agencies will be cracking down as well, including the LAPD which will have checkpoints set up throughout Los Angeles and beefed-up patrols specifically aimed at picking up drunk drivers.

In addition, the California Highway Patrol will be keeping the freeways and county highways safe by putting all of its available officers on the road this Memorial Day weekend.

Statistics show that efforts to crack down on drunk driving are working.

The numbers of overall traffic deaths in California are at their lowest in over six decades and declined 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009. Total alcohol-related traffic deaths declined 16 percent, from 1,132 in 2007 to 950 in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Partygoers who plan on drinking this Memorial Day weekend should have a designated driver or call a taxi cab to take them safely home, law enforcement officials say.

Funding for Santa Monica’s checkpoint operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information contact Sergeant Jeff Wiles at the Santa Monica Police Department Traffic Enforcement Section at (310) 458-8950 or the Public Information Officer, Sergeant Richard Lewis at (310) 458-8462.


“Unlicensed drivers are over-represented in fatal crashes.” Sgt. Richard Lewis

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