Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested two individuals at a DUI checkpoint Friday, one for driving under the influence and another for an outstanding warrant.
After screening more than 1,000 vehicles, local law enforcement officials said they hoped the message was made clear regarding what happens if someone decides to drink before they get behind the wheel.
“Part of the effectiveness of a DUI checkpoint is not only the checkpoint itself, but the publicity and the message that it sends,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “That gives residents top-of-mind awareness in regard to driving under the influence. So now we’ve talked to 1,035 people, and we’re able to educate them about driving under the influence.”
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The lesson is just as important as the enforcement plan, he said, noting that when Sheriff’s Station officials put out a news release about a checkpoint, it’s often shared on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook far more than any other type of bulletin.
“It’s a three-part message — education, prevention and enforcement,” Dubin added. “It’s the education and the warning. Hopefully, they choose to drive sober and get to choose their ride home.”
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Traffic Unit conducted a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint Friday at Soledad Canyon Road, near Golden Triangle Road just outside Santa Clarita Lanes, from 6 p.m and 2 a.m. Saturday.
In addition to the arrests, 1,035 drivers were screened, 19 were cited for vehicle code violations, eight unlicensed drivers were cited, five sobriety tests were given and four vehicles were towed, at the checkpoint, according to Sheriff’s Station statistics.
The checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunken and drugged driving deterrence and provide the greatest safety for officers and the public, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.
Those arrested and convicted for DUI can expect jail time, vehicle storage or impound fees, license suspension, fines, fees, DUI classes, insurance rates will increase and other expenses that can push the cost of an arrest to over $10,000; not to mention the embarrassment they’ll face around family, friends & co-workers.
Funding for this and other DUI operations are from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The crime of impaired driving is a serious one. In 2010 alone, 791 died in California DUI crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit. The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes was the 21-to-24 age group.
Over the past three years, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s has investigated 212 fatal and injury DUI collision; countywide – 730 individuals were killed in drunk-driving wrecks.