LA MIRADA — Deputies arrested to driver’s accused of driving under the influence of marijuana during a DUI checkpoint late Saturday and early Sunday, officials said.
Officials screened all 1,768 drivers of the vehicles that passed through the checkpoint, held on Imperial Highway just east of Valley View Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
In addition to the two DUI arrests, five drivers with suspended or revoked licenses were arrested, along with seven unlicensed drivers, officials said.
Nine vehicles were impounded for one day, five vehicles were impounded for 30 days, and 10 vehicles were released to to other drivers per checkpoint procedures, officials added.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Arrests for intoxicated driving were down 16 percent over last year during the first two days of the a multi-agency holiday season DUI crackdown, officials said.
Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers that make up the Los Angeles County anti-DUI task force collectively as “Avoid the 100” initially reported 351 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs between 12:01 a.m. Friday and midnight Sunday, task force organizers said in a written statement. Last year, 417 drivers were arrested during the same 48-hour period.
The DUI enforcement campaign is scheduled to continue through midnight Jan. 1.
Funding for the task force is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Anyone who spots an intoxicated driver on the road is encouraged to call 9-1-1.
Sheriff’s officials are planning to screen drivers for sobriety and valid drivers’ licenses during checkpoints Friday and Saturday in Pico Rivera and La Mirada, authorities said.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station are planning a checkpoint from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Pico Rivera, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Norwalk Station are planning another checkpoint from 7 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within La Mirada, officials added.
The checkpoints are being funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
SANTA FE SPRINGS — Police jailed four people on suspicion of drunken driving, and two others on other charges, during a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint late Friday, police said.
More than 900 cars were screened at the Whittier Police Department’s checkpoint, which was held from 8:30 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday on Slauson Avenue, just east of Sorenson Avenue, in Santa Fe Springs, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Four suspected drunken drivers were arrested, along with two other people who were jailed due to outstanding criminal warrant, police said.
A total of 22 drivers were cited during the checkpoint, Officer Brad White said.
The Whittier Police Department was planning another checkpoint on Dec. 14, according to the police statement. Such checkpoints have been shown to reduce the numbers of alcohol related injuries or deaths on the road.
“A major component of these checkpoints are the deterrent effects it has on those who might drive drunk or drugged impaired, bringing about more awareness and encouraging everyone to use sober designated drivers,” the statement said.
Funding for the checkpoints is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As always, anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road is asked to report it by calling 9-1-1.
SANTA FE SPRINGS — Police plan to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a Santa Fe Springs checkpoint Friday night, officials said.
The checkpoint is to be held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Whittier police Sgt. Rob Hanson said in a written statement. The Whittier Police Department provides police services to the City of Santa Fe Springs.
“Over the course of the past three years in the cities of Whittier and Santa Fe Springs, DUI collisions have claimed four lives and resulted in 119 injury crashes harming 167 of our friends and neighbors,” Hanson said.
Well publicized and routine DUI checkpoints, combined with “proactive DUI patrols,” have been linked to decreases of as much as 20 percent in crashes involving drunken or drug-impaired drivers, the sergeant said.
Funding for Friday’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road is urged to report it by calling 9-1-1.
AZUSA — The Azusa Police Department has received a $34,000 to fund sobriety checkpoints, officials announced Tuesday.
The grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis said in a written statement.
“The special DUI checkpoint grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug-related collisions in the community,” Dennis said. “The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving.”
In addition to hunting for drunken drivers at the checkpoints, specially trained officers will be on-hand whenever possible to evaluate drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs.
LOS ANGELES — Two young women died and three other young women were badly injured, including the driver who is accused of intoxicated driving, in a solo-car crash early Sunday on the 110 Freeway, authorities said.
Passengers Blanca Belman Almanza, 23, and Ana Cuadra, 22, both of Los Angeles, died at the scene of the 1:30 a.m. collision on the northbound 110 Freeway, just south of Avenue 52, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said.
A 22-year-old San Gabriel woman was at the wheel of a 2011 Nissan Sentra with four other young women as passengers when the crash occurred, she said.
The car left the road and struck a chain link fence and a tree, CHP Officer Monica Posada said. Injured patients had to be cut free from the wreckage by firefighters.
Belman Almanza and Cuadra were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, Posada said. The driver and two other passengers, described as 23-year-old Los Angeles women, were hospitalized with major injuries.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Posada said. Her name was not available Sunday as she remained hospitalized.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by officers from the Central Los Angeles Office of the CHP.
POMONA — A jury convicted an Arcadia man Friday of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated Friday for driving through a freeway closure while drunk, fatally striking a road worker on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park last year, but could not reach a verdict on a murder charge, authorities said.
The Pomona Superior Court jury convicted Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, 39, of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with a charge of driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08 percent, court officials said. But the jury acquitted the driver of a count of drunken driving causing injury, and became deadlocked regarding a second-degree murder charge.
He was ordered back to court Dec. 2, at which time prosecutors were expected to announce whether they would re-try the murder case.
Caltrans subcontractor Connor McDermott Penhall, 21, of Corona, died at the scene of the crash, which took place about 11:45 p.m. April 4, 2012, on the westbound 10 Freeway just west of Francisquito Avenue, officials said. Penhall, who is the son of actor and motorcycle champion Bruce Penhall, was performing construction work with Colorado-based Flatiron West Inc. when he was struck.
Sakamoto drove through signs and cones warning of the full freeway closure before the fatal collision.
Sakamoto was initially charged only with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and the two DUI-related charges in the days after his arrest, however prosecutors in December filed an additional charge of second-degree murder.
Sakamoto is being held in lieu of $1.05 million bail.
Penhall’s family has since filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Flatiron West Inc., Caltrans and the CHP alleging the agencies failed to follow proper procedures regarding the road closure the night Penhall was killed.
EL MONTE — The El Monte Police Department has received an $80,00 grant to combat drunken and drugged driving, officials announced Wednesday.
The grant, issued by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is to fund a year-long program to prevent deaths and injuries caused by DUI crashes, El Monte police Cpl. Glen Eugenio said in a written statement.
“We are committed to driver safety and reducing the number of traffic collisions in our city, particularly those involving impaired drivers,” Police Chief Steve Schuster said. “Our current and past partnership with the OTS has been an integral part of our traffic safety program.”
Activities to be funded by the grant will include specialized training for recognition of drunken or drugged motorists, DUI saturation patrols, seat belt and child safety seat enforcement, warrant service operation on repeat DUI offenders and more.
WHITTIER — Whittier police this week announced the department has received a grant of more than $96,000
from the California Office of Traffic Safety to hold sobriety checkpoints.
The grant comes on the heels of another $93,000 grant from the California OTS announced Tuesday to fund special traffic enforcement and crash prevention operations.
“The special DUI Checkpoint grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug related collisions in the community,” Whittier police officials said in a written statement. “The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving through the use of DUI/driver’s license checkpoints.”
Funding for the grant was provided through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information, contact Whittier police Sgt. Rob Hanson at 562-567-9256.