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Citrus Heights police to conduct St. Patrick’s Day weekend DUI checkpoint

Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights police will hold a DUI and drivers license checkpoint this weekend in an effort to curb drunk driving.

According to a news release sent out by the police department, the checkpoint will be held at “an undisclosed location” in the city between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., beginning Friday night, March 16, and continuing through early Saturday morning. Extra “saturation patrols” will also be roving the streets throughout the weekend, specifically searching for, and pulling over, drivers showing signs of intoxication.

Q&A: Why do police announce DUI checkpoints in advance?

Police said the checkpoint operation will include officers briefly stopping vehicles to look for signs of alcohol and drug impairment, as well as checking drivers for proper licensing. Officers will also be on scene to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which can include many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, according to the news release.

A prior checkpoint held in December on Greenback Lane near Birdcage Street resulted in 1,034 vehicles being stopped, with three DUI arrests made and two additional arrests made for outstanding warrants. Officers also issued a total of 20 citations, the majority being issued to unlicensed drivers or those with a suspended license. Additionally, seven vehicles were impounded and another three were stored, according to police.

As previously reported on The Sentinel, the Citrus Heights Police Department says it announces DUI operations in advance as a public awareness tool to help deter drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk. The department also regularly deploys saturation patrols as an enforcement measure.

Funding for CHPD’s checkpoints comes from a California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant, through the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. CHPD was awarded a $164,000 OTS grant earlier this year to help fund a year-long program of safety-related efforts, with a focus on DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.

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