The Santa Monica Police Department plans to conduct a sobriety/driver’s license checkpoint in the city in the evening of Friday, Nov. 19.

Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department will be contacting drivers to confirm their sobriety and driver’s license status. This is the first of several checkpoints to be conducted over a 12-month period.

Police said the checkpoint is part of an ongoing campaign to reduce the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol-involved crashes. The driving-under-the-influence (DUI) checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the street, as well as bring awareness to the community of the dangers of impaired driving, police said.

Statewide, overall traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009, while DUI deaths declined by 16 percent, from 1,132 in 2007 to 950 in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Total traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels in six decades.

The Santa Monica Police Department reminds drivers to have a designated driver or to call a taxi if they plan on drinking.

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

For more information, Sgt. Jeff Wiles at the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit at (310) 458-8950 or Sgt. Jay Trisler at (310) 458-8471.

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