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DUI checkpoint yields 12 arrests

Sobriety tests on Saturday night result in several motorists being taken into custody.

August 19, 2008|By Veronica Rocha

GLENDALE — A weekend sobriety checkpoint at San Fernando Road and Palmer Avenue resulted in 12 motorists being arrested.

Two motorists were nabbed for drunken driving and driving under the influence of marijuana, Glendale police Sgt. Dennis Smith said. Police conducted 12 field-sobriety tests on motorists during the checkpoint between 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 a.m Sunday, Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

“A lot of people don’t realize [marijuana] could have the same effect as alcohol,” Smith said.

Nine motorists were arrested on suspicion of driving without a license, and one was arrested in connection with driving on a suspended license.

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Fourteen people were cited for infractions such as not having license plates, making illegal U-turns, having an open container of alcohol, defective lights and driving in the wrong direction.

“These checkpoints are about letting people know we are out there,” Smith said. “Hopefully they will think twice about drinking and driving.”

The checkpoint is one of two planned this month and aims to reduce traffic collisions linked to drunken driving. Another checkpoint is planned for Aug. 23, police said.

Police screened 488 of the 659 vehicles that passed through the checkpoint. Eleven vehicles checked were towed and will be kept in police custody for 30 days.

More than 1,400 cars passed through a July 12 checkpoint at Colorado and Campus streets, Smith said.

Smith saw more people riding the bus this past Saturday compared to most nights the traffic bureau conducts checkpoints. High gas prices might have led to fewer cars on the road during the operation, he said.

Police arrested 68 motorists on suspicion of drunken driving in June, according to Glendale Police Department monthly crime statistics.

Police arrested 399 motorists from January to June on suspicion of drunken driving, which was a jump of 22 arrests compared with the first six months of 2007.

The Police Department’s checkpoints — such as sobriety checks and speed enforcement — are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Officers work overtime to staff the checkpoints, and the grant helps pay for the overtime costs.


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