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Newhall DUI checkpoint nets two arrests, numerous citations

Posted: July 12, 2013 5:51 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2013 5:51 p.m.

Santa Clarita sheriff's Deputy Jerry Newbold, left, asks for the license of a small pickup truck driver during a DUI checkpoint Thursday night on Lyons Avenue in Newhall. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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Two people were arrested and nearly 30 cited during a Santa Clarita Valley DUI/driver’s license checkpoint this week that screened more than 1,100 cars.

The eight-hour checkpoint, held from 6 p.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Lyons Avenue and Wheeler Road, resulted in 15 people sent to court for allegedly driving without a license or with a license that had been suspended or revoked, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Station Traffic Bureau. Another 13 drivers were cited for various violations of the state Vehicle Code.

Three vehicles were towed during the checkpoint.

While the actual numbers of arrests at checkpoints are usually low in the Santa Clarita Valley, officials say they serve as a deterrent to driving impaired, and that it is important to get the message out about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“I just don’t think they take into account the penalties for one thing, but also what could occur in terms of hurting themselves or hurting somebody else, including death,” Sgt. Rich Cohen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal in an interview earlier this week.

Those penalties can be seen locally. In the last three years, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has investigated 212 fatal- and injury-related DUI collisions.

Another 730 individuals have been killed in drunken-driving wrecks around Los Angeles County.

Though some have criticized DUI checkpoints as a nuisance, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that the potential result of getting impaired drivers off the road outweighs the inconvenience of the checkpoints themselves.

While some states do not conduct DUI checkpoints, the vast majority, including California, have laws on the books permitting them.

Funding for Thursday night’s checkpoint comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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