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August 18, 2014
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Zero arrests at North Lake Tahoe DUI checkpoint

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — No arrests were made during a drunken and drug-impaired driving checkpoint Saturday night on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.

More than 600 vehicles were stopped on Highway 28 near Deer Street in Kings Beach between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., said Pete Mann, public information officer for the Truckee office of the California Highway Patrol.

“There was a ton of people (in Kings Beach) that night … but only four people had been drinking, and that was only one (drink); it was pretty low key,” Mann said.

Six CHP troopers and one sergeant worked Saturday’s checkpoint, Mann said, each accruing five hours of overtime. Further, two Placer County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., said Lt. Alfredo Guitron.

On July 27, CHP partnered with the Truckee Police Department to conduct a similar checkpoint, checking 350 vehicles during a 5-hour stretch on Donner Pass Road near Levon Avenue.

One person was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, while two were arrested for driving without a license, according to previous reports. Two minors also were cited for Minor in Possession of alcohol.

BETTER AWARENESS?

The low number of arrests could point to a better-educated public on the dangers of impaired driving, Mann said.

“Any time we do a DUI checkpoint, the idea behind it is to educate people about the dangers of drinking and driving,” he said. “It looks as if the education part is working, and if people believe and know the dangers, then we’re obviously doing our job.”

Funding for both checkpoints was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the state, grants are awarded a competitive basis using several criteria, including performance on previous grants, number of alcohol-involved fatalities and injuries and value of the funding requested.

Grantees are reimbursed for actual overtime cost for checkpoint operations, up to the award amount. Grantees also are reimbursed for specific pre-approved checkpoint supplies.

It’s unclear how much overtime was paid, or the worth of the grant for Saturday’s checkpoint.

A request to obtain that information was made with CHP’s Community Outreach & Media Relations office in Sacramento on Monday, but officials could not track down figures for this story’s 3 p.m. Tuesday deadline.

Residents are always encouraged to call 9-1-1 if they see a drunken or impaired driver.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 19, 2014 05:57PM Published Aug 25, 2014 02:49PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.