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Dec 2013
'Avoid the DUI' enforcement effort kicks into gear

Law enforcement agencies from the state, cities and counties begin their annual DUI crackdown on Friday, with a series of 100 rotating drunken-driving checkpoints and other enforcement efforts.

Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro, whose department is leading the local effort - called Avoid the DUI - said they were releasing information about the effort to give early warning to all partygoers.

"Our task force will be highly visible during this enforcement period, and those suspected of driving while intoxicated will be shown zero tolerance," Castro said.

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Don Inman said DUI arrests average about 13,800 per year, and the checkpoints are seen as an important tool.

"We usually arrest about eight drivers and check more than 700 vehicles," Inman said. "What's important is that people become aware that we are out there, and it gets a message out for people to be careful."

In Los Angeles, Inman noted Hollywood and North Hollywood typically make themselves known. "Those two areas seem to be the busiest in terms of arrests and collisions," he said, adding the department continues to promote the use of designated drivers and urges people to call 9-1-1 if they see an impaired driver.

The increased enforcement will be in effect from Friday through Jan. 1, with DUI checkpoints, roving patrols, multi-agency strike teams, warrant-probation sweeps and DUI court sting operations targeting those driving with suspended licenses.

Castro said the holiday season is one of the worst in terms of accidents and traffic deaths, with 4,169 people killed nationally - 505 in California - in the month of December between 2007 and 2011. Thousands more were seriously injured.

"We are going to keep our roads safe for travelers heading to visit friends and family," Castro said. "This holiday, if you choose to drive drunk, we will be looking for you, we will stop you, and you will be arrested."

Those convicted of DUI often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates and other expenses ranging from attorney's fees, court costs, towing, repairs and lost wages due to time off from work.



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