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LAPD Conducts Sobriety Checkpoint

LAPD Conducts Sobriety Checkpoint

Friday, May 19, 2006
8:00 PM to 2:00 AM

Santa Monica Boulevard at Barry Avenue in West Los Angeles Area

West Los Angeles Division and West Traffic Division Officers

The purpose of the sobriety checkpoint is to reduce the number of traffic collisions involving intoxicated drivers through enforcement and public awareness. The message is simple “You Drink & Drive, You Lose.”  Motorists approaching a checkpoint will see information advising them that a sobriety checkpoint is ahead.  Once diverted into a lane, a motorist will be detained only a few moments while an officer explains the purpose of the checkpoint.

Officers and Reserves from West Los Angeles Area and West Traffic Division will staff the checkpoint.  The California Office of Traffic Safety in their efforts to support the apprehension of drunk drivers has provided the funds to conduct this operation.

For further information contact Sergeant Podesta, West Los Angeles Area, at 310-444-0701.


ummmm.....Friday is May 19, not May 18

I must admit, I am bothered by the presence of sobriety checkpoints, now common in many states.

The reason it bothers me is that I can be doing nothing wrong, and can be giving no indication that there is any reason to pull me over, and yet I can be stopped and investigated.

Perhaps part of my disgruntlement is that I don't drink and drive - ever. : )

But most of it is that I am concerned that setting a precendent by allowing this sort of thing will lead to one of those dreaded "slippery slopes," and will someday allow people to be stopped for no good reason for reasons other than public safety.

What I would be curious about is decent statistics on not only the number of intoxicated drivers who are caught with these checkpoints, but also if it can be demonstrated that alcohol-related crashes are significantly lowered in municipalities where these checkpoints occur.

I'd also be interested in seeing some info on what these things do to traffic, and whether there are actually any increases in non-alcohol related traffic accidents - although I'd like to think that the number of silly accidents that happen _because_ of a checkpoint would be fewer by far than the number of alcohol-related crashes prevented.

How do people in general feel about these checkpoints? Am I the only person who feels bothered by them, or who might even prefer higher risk from drunk drivers to the practice of law enforcement officers being able to pull people over arbitrarily, when those people are not breaking the law in any way?

Another concern I have, is that every time I have ever been stopped at a checkpoint (in other states), I've witnessed people being _really_ unpleasant to the officers - as if the checkpoint were the personal idea of the officers. So my concern is that these things might decrease rapport and create more ill-will between citizens and police. Does this happen? My experiences are anecdotal, and I do not know how representative they are.

Good luck to you on your new site. I don't know what effect it will have on public safety, but I DO know that it will depend on how effective and appropriate your (LAPD) responses are. Like the old saying goes, if you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got. It's good to see you try something new. Much success to you.



Well, this is nice. Maybe next time you can set up a checkpoint to search glove compartment boxes for murder weapons, this wil save lots of time conducting real police work.

So, how many drunk people did you catch? Would you say this "Sobriety Checkpoint" was successful?

Why didn't you just give them alternative routes around the checkpoint while you were at it?

You people are there anything the police department can do to make you happy? Just obey the freaking law and you won't have to worry.

This is in response to tbone and others that do not understand the concept of a DUI Checkpoint.
First of all, DUI checkpoints do not lead to a "slippery slope", in fact, there are rules that are incorporated into having a checkpoint.. One of them being, vehicles are not stopped at random - EVERYONE is checked, this prohibits profiling! If you go through one and haven't been drinking, then what are you worried about? Any good citizen with common sense would realize that the checkpoint has absolutely no affect on you besides possibly preventing the drunk driving towards you from killing/injuring you or a loved one.
Another point.. how can you measure what doesn't happen? In relationship to how many accidents were stopped.. how could we ever know? Could I tell you that one person arrested out of a checkpoint would have ended up crashing into something? If all DUI arrests came from a reactive approach of something getting crashed into (or someone) then this would be an even sadder world.
As far as rapport goes, police don't have the best rapports in the first place. Someone who wants to complain at a DUI checkpoint should put on a badge and gunbelt for a day and night. If they make it through then maybe they have some complaining rights.. DUI's are not the only things police officers deal with in their day to day tasks. So if you want to complain at a DUI checkpoint, put yourself in the mindset that the same officer you're complaining to might be the same officer that responds to your call for help be it serious or not! And if you're not intoxicated, who cares? Did the two minutes (if that) make that much of a difference?

This month on a Saturday nite 2 LAPD patrol vehicles were hit by drunk drivers. 1 car with 2 officers from Newton Div. were seriously hurt when a drunk driver in an SUV hit them. The female officer was admitted in critical condition and her male partner had injury to his femor. She is still in the hospital. The same nite 2 Hollenbeck officers were also hit by a drunk driver with no serious injuries. Then the following week 2 more officers in their patrol cars in Canoga Park were hit by another drunk driver. There were no serious injuries. These sobriety check points are a deterent to drunk driving. People will think twice if they know there's a chance they'll be stopped. Unfortunately, these officers being hit by drunk drivers did not make the local news.

I am all for DUI checkpoints. I am not a drinker that drives and I sure don't wanna be the victim of one. What harm is a few minutes out of your life if you are not doing anything wrong. I've been through DUI, seatbelt and driver license checkpoints over the years. Passed all of them with flying colors. I wish they had DUI checkpoints on the freeways out here! If they can slow down traffic for construction at nite then they can do it for DUI checking.

Seems to me the ones that would have a problem with a sobriety checkpoints would be those that had been drinking or had another reason to avoid the police. I have seen many injured people from drunk driving accidents and getting even one drunk driver off the road can save many lives.

Great job LAPD!! DUI kills. I'm sure citizens that dislike the check points would feel different if it was thier loved one injured or killed by a drunk driver.

I think the checkpoints should be placed outside bars and clubs where politicians and police officers are known to frequent.

The state of Ohio has done some interesting proactive thinking regarding alcohol-related accidents and fatalities. They have studied where the "problem areas" are regarding alcohol-related fatalities and specific holidays such as New Years eve and the 4th of July. Based on this info, additional officers are on placed in these "problem areas" as well as increased checkpoints during the holidays. I haven't seen the results yet, but it sounds like this sort of proactive thinking may significantly cut down on the totally preventable alcohol-related injuries and deaths that happen during most of the major holidays.

As more and more people become aware of the number of needless and preventable alcohol-related injuries and deaths that occur every year in our country, an increasing number of people are going to demand that the police and politicians do more to address this problem. Certainly, there are a number of things that can be done but sobriety checkpoints actually make a lot of sense. The messages by MADD and by citizens concerned about alcohol-related fatalities, establishing more strict DUI laws and forms of punishment, and increased police patrols are starting to make a significant impact in the ways in which many people drink during the holidays. For instance, I am hearing more and more people talking about getting a "designated driver” when they plan on drinking. This type of anticipatory thinking and planning can make a major impact on reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and deaths that happen especially during the major holidays in our country. And with this type of thinking, one doesn’t have to fear getting pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint.

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