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Deputies to conduct checkpoint tonight

Posted: December 17, 2010 3:10 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2010 4:00 p.m.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will conduct a DUI/driver license checkpoint, in partnership with the Avoid DUI Task Force Campaigns and law enforcement nationwide, beginning at 6 tonight at an undisclosed location within the city.

The checkpoint marks the beginning of a safety campaign lasting through New Year's weekend to crack down on drunk or drugged drivers.

"After hearing about the dangers of drinking and driving time after time, most people have gotten the message that if they're planning on drinking, they should always plan a safe way home," said Captain Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

"But sadly, millions of Americans still think they are invincible and regularly choose to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink."

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station said parents should take note that young males are at particularly high risk, with nearly one-quarter admitting to riding with someone who should not have been behind the wheel in the past year.

"We know that the holiday season can be one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in drunk driving," said Captain Becker. "Don't let your 2010 end in an arrest, or worse, injury or death. Remember, whether you've had way too many or just one too many, it's not worth the risk."

During last year's two and half week Winter Holiday campaign, 36 Californians were killed in crashes statewide with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, and another 1,168 were injured in alcohol involved wrecks. This year, there were 132 DUI related crashes in the city of Santa Clarita.

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Captain Becker recommends these simple tips for a safe holiday season:

* Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
* Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
* If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
* Use your community's Sober Rides program
* If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;
* And remember, "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk." If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

To schedule an interview regarding impaired driving efforts and programs in California, contact Chris Cochran, California Office of Traffic Safety, at (916) 905-3063 or via e-mail at


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