10 caught in Lakewood checkpoint

LAKEWOOD - Ten people were arrested at a DUI and driver's license checkpoint in Lakewood last Friday night.One DUI suspect had a blood alcohol level of .22 percent and had a prior conviction for DUI, authorities said. Four drivers were arrested for being high on marijuana and three others face charges of illegal possession of narcotics, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. One unlicensed driver was arrested and sent to court, along with another person driving on a suspended or revoked license. Four vehicles were stored for one day and one vehicle was impounded for 30 days. "Saving lives, reducing injuries, traffic collisions and property damage is important work," said Sheriff Lee Baca. "Every life is a life worth saving and we will do our utmost to help keep the public safe." Statewide, overall traffic deaths heave declined 23 percent from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009 and total traffic fatalities are at their lowest level in six decades, sheriff's officials said. DUI deaths have declined from 1,132 in 2007 to 950 in 2009, a decrease of 16 percent. A first-time DUI conviction can cost drivers between $6,000 to $1,000 when all potential fines, fees, classes, lawyers, work days missed and increased insurance costs are factored in. Sheriff's authorities offered the following tips to avoid a drunk driving charge: *arrange rides home from your friends, family, co-workers and yourself before the drinking begins. *identify and provide free non-alcoholic drinks or other promotional items to the designated driver. *party hosts and servers must limit drinks to your guests or patrons. Don't serve more than one or two over several hours. *cut back on the amount of drinks you plan to bring to the party - and provide plenty of food. Funding for DUI and driver's license checkpoints is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

********** Published: March 14, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 48