La Habra checkpoint nets one DUI arrest


LA HABRA >> Police made one DUI arrest during a sobriety and driver license checkpoint in La Habra Friday night, officials said.
One driver is accused of driving under the influence of marijuana following the checkpoint, which was held from 10 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday along southbound Beach Boulevard, approaching La Habra Boulevard, La Habra police Lt. Clint Angle said.
A total of 599 cars passed through the checkpoint, he said. Twenty-two of them were singled out for secondary screening.
In addition to the DUI arrest, one person was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public, the lieutenant said.
Police cited five drivers for driving without licenses, and one driver for driving on a suspended license, Angle said.
The vehicles belonging to the alleged DUI driver and the driver with a suspended license were impounded, he added.

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Police plan *Saturday night checkpoint in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL >> Police in San Gabriel are planning a checkpoint Saturday night to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, San Gabriel police officials said in a written statement.
San Gabriel officers have investigated 69 DUI-related collisions, claiming one life and resulting in another 38 injuries, over the past three years, officials said.
Funding fro the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Police in Whittier, elsewhere, to seek out DUI drivers over holiday weekend

WHITTIER >> Police in Whittier have joined a chorus of their colleagues in law enforcement throughout the region, and the nation, in cautioning residents not to drive under the influence while celebrating Independence Day this weekend.
“Unfortunately for many, the celebration frequently includes drinking alcohol, which toon often leads to drunk driving on one of the most heavily travelled holidays of the year,” Whittier police Sgt. David Elizarraras said in a written statement.
An average of six people are killed and another 110 are seriously injured in crashes each year in California over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the sergeant said.
Whittier police, and other law enforcement agencies, are planning extra patrols to hunt out intoxicated drivers over the weekend.
Anyone who sees a drunken driver on the road is encouraged to report it by calling 911.
Funding for the Whittier police enforcement campaign is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Police to hold checkpoint in El Monte this weekend


EL MONTE >> El Monte police are planning a checkpoint Saturday night, as well as extra patrols throughout Memorial Day weekend to hunt for impaired drivers, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at Valley Boulevard and Baldwin Avenue, Sgt. Jimmie Pitts of the El Monte Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau
Extra officers will be on the lookout for DUI drivers throughout the weekend in El Monte, as well as in other area jurisdictions, including freeways, police said in a written statement.
Funding for this weekends campaign is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Police to hold checkpoint in Pasadena Friday night

PASADENA >> Pasadena police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint Friday night, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
In Pasadena, police have responded to 76 DUI-related crashes resulting in four deaths and 112 injuries over the past three years, police said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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23 arrests made during Whittier checkpoint


WHITTIER >> Police arrested one alleged drunken driver, as well a 22 others during a an overnight checkpoint in Whittier, officials said Saturday.
The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. Friday to into the early-morning hours Saturday along Mulberry Drive, just east of Santa Fe Springs Road, Whittier police Sgt. David Elizarraras said in a written statement.
In addition to the drunken driver, police arrested and released with citations for driving without licenses or with suspended or revoked licenses, he said. Two of those people were also arrested for outstanding warrants.
Police impounded seven vehicles during the checkpoint, officials said.

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Glendale woman sentenced for DUI crash that killed Whittier man in Pico Rivera

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PICO RIVERA >> A Glendale woman who triggered a fatal crash when she drove through a red light in Pico Rivera while drunk has begun serving a six-year prison term for the crime, officials said Wednesday.
Christine Vahe Mesdjian, 28, pleaded “no contest” to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated during a pretrial hearing on Thursday in the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
“She was immediately sentenced to six years in state prison,” Ardalani said.
An additional count of felony DUI was dismissed in connection with the Feb. 15, 2015, three-vehicle crash that claimed the life of David Andrew Jaramillo, 59, of Whittier.
Mesdjian initially told investigators she fell asleep at the wheel prior to the crash, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Jose Marquez said. But skid marks created in the street prior to the collision contradicted her story, he said.
Mesdjian was driving a Toyota pickup truck north along Paramount Boulevard about 8 p.m. when she blew through a red light and hit the passenger side of a Toyota Scion heading east on Slauson Avenue, according to Marquez.
The force of the collision pushed the Scion into a Toyota Camry heading west on Slauson Avenue.
Jaramillo, who was driving the Scion, died at the scene.
Mesdjian and three people inside the camera were treated for injuries as well, officials said.
Deputies did not arrest Mesdjian the night of the crash, but ultimately turned over the findings of their investigation to prosecutors, who obtained an arrest warrant for Mesdjian in late June of 2015. She turned herself in to authorities June 30.

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Ex-fugitive from San Bernardino in viral Rowland Heights crash video back in custody


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A former fugitive from San Bernardino charged with a laundry list of criminal charges in connection with a bizarre Rowland Heights car crash depicted in a viral YouTube video is behind bars, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Jasmine Lacey, 23, is charged with driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run with a runaway car, auto theft, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without a valid license in connection with the Sept. 1 crash along Harbor Boulevard, between Vantage Point Drive and Pathfinder Road, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
VIDEO: Bizarre Rowland Heights crash caught on camera
California Highway Patrol officers soon found and arrested an allegedly highly intoxicated Lacey on foot in the area, CHP officials said.
She was released from custody without charges four days later, however, pending the result of blood analysis.
But charged were filed against Lacey in February, but she failed to show up for a scheduled Feb. 10 arraignment hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s West Covina branch, Ardalani said. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Lacey was re-arrested April 18, according to county booking records. The circumstances of her re-capture were unclear Wednesday.
She pleaded has since not guilty to all charges.
But the legal process is again on hold as officials look into Lacey’s psychiatric health, Ardalani said.
“On May 5, a doubt was declared as to the defendant’s mental competency,” she said.
According to court records, Lacey is next scheduled to appear in the Mental Health Courthouse in Los Angeles May 19 for a mental competency hearing. She is then scheduled for a hearing in the West Covina courthouse the following day.
The unusual incident, which resulted in no significant injuries, was captured on video by the dashcam of another car. The footage was posted to YouTube by user “UlikeUC Here”, where it has since garnered more than 5 million views.
She was at the wheel of a stolen car when the suddenly slammed on the brakes, bringing the car to a halt, the video shows.
Lacey then inexplicably exits the car and begins walking down the center median as the driverless car rolled downhill and into opposing traffic lanes. An SUV was struck by the car before it ultimately struck a tree and stopped.
Lacey was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail, records show.

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Police checkpoint planned in La Verne

LA VERNE >> Police in La Verne will check motorists for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 5 p.m. to midnight at an undisclosed location within the city, La Verne police Sgt. Justin Newman said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, La Verne has had 29 DUI injury collisions harming 30 of our friends and neighbors,” Newman said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided internally by the La Verne Police Department.

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Police to hold checkpoint in Whittier this weekend

WHITTIER >> Police officers are planning to set up a checkpoint in Whittier Friday night to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed spot within the city, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years, Whittier police have handled 327 DUI-related crashes, resulting in four deaths and 148 injures, police said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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