3rd and Pico
April 2, 2010 –Last month’s sobriety checkpoint by the Santa Monica Police Department at the 300 block of Pico Boulevard led to two arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. More than 1,000 people drove through the checkpoint area on the night of March 17, and 242 were stopped in the random screening process.
Five people were cited for driving without a license. Another eight were cited for other violations. Twenty-nine people were found to have "somewhat of an objective symptom," causing police officers to require a field sobriety test. But all but the two who were arrested were allowed to go on their way following the tests. There were 342 arrests for DUI in Santa Monica last year.
The SMPD did not have available statistics from previous years to make a comparison. Last year saw a decrease in DUI-related collisions, with 36 taking place in 2009 and 48 taking place in 2008. Trisler did not immediately have information on how many of those collisions involved fatalities. Statewide, DUI incidents are down significantly. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 1,029 DUI-related fatalities in 2008 (the most recent year from which statistics are available). That is a 9.1 percent decrease from 2007 and a 20.1 percent decrease from 2005.