Saturday DUI Checkpoint Nets One Arrest

More than 1,000 cars passed through the checkpoint last Saturday night.

A DUI and driver's license checkpoint set up in Long Beach Saturday night netted one arrest and 10 citations, the Long Beach Police Department announced Monday.

The checkpoint, which was stationed along Pacific Coast Highway south of Second Street, operated from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. Saturday night and Sunday morning.

According to police, 1,096 vehicles passed through the checkpoint with 542 of those vehicles being screened by police for any impairment.

Of those 542 vehicles, one person was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, three people were cited for driving with suspended licenses and seven drivers were issued traffic citations, police said.

Three cars belonging to the individuals who were allegedly driving with suspended licenses were also impounded.

According to police, checkpoints such as the one set up on Saturday are vital in the fight against impaired drivers and those who drive without licenses. The average American has a 30 percent chance of being killed or injured by an impaired driver, police said in a release.

Saturday's checkpoint was made possible by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


brent ward January 01, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Nothing better to do? The police are the tax collectors of the old roman empire in the new world.
Watts January 01, 2013 at 05:56 AM
"The average American has a 30 percent chance of being killed or injured by an impaired driver, police said in a release." I find this very hard to believe. In fact, this sounds like a ridiculous claim. If that were the case, wouldn't tat mean that close to 1/3rd of the average person's circle of friends, acquaintances, coworkers, etc. would be killed or injured by an impaired driver? Personally, through my own career in and around entertainment, I would say that the lifestyle and late hours that has most people that I have ever known to be on the road at higher risk hours for intoxicated drivers, that I would be more likely than the average person to know people who have been killed or injured by an impaired driver. But the reality is that even having reached middle age, I can only think of 4 people who have killed or injured by an impaired driver. And as bad as those instances were, that s a far cry from 1/3rd of the people that I know.
Luis January 01, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Ditto on the 30% claim. That seems to be relatively high. If that is for only people killed in a vehicle accident it makes more sense.
John B. Greet January 01, 2013 at 05:41 PM
The data some seem concerned about may have come from an older report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I would encourage folks to go to the link and do a simple word search in the document for "alcohol" then read all of the very sobering (sic) alcohol-related statistics found in that report. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/TSF2000.pdf
Watts January 01, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Doing a search on document for "alcohol," there are 226 matches. If you saw it in there, can you provide the page number so we can see how this is really worded or calculated? Even the article itself would seem to prove how unlikely that claim would be. A random sample set of 1000 cars passing through a checkpoint and only 1 DUI stop in the bunch. John, you are a little older than myself, but would you say that 30% of the people that you have known in your life have been injured or killed by an impaired driver? Again, I haven't see the report being quoted or how it is supposed to be calculated, but on the surface, does this sound like it could even be conceivably close to this claim as it is stated in this article?
Watts January 01, 2013 at 07:50 PM
I would say killed OR injured in an accident. There is no way that we all walk around with a 30% chance of being killed in a car crash.
John B. Greet January 01, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Hi Watts. The figure was likely extrapolated from other statistics within the report. I despise math so I had/have no desire to try to re-create whatever computation may have been used to arrive at the statistic. Because of this I am not attempting to confirm *or* deny the percentage published. I think it would be nice if agencies would cite actual sources when they publish such numbers. That said, I do find the statistics published in every NHTSA report quite convincing in their own right and I have personally seen, far too many times, the considerable property damage and horrific injury and death in traffic collisions where impairment has been a factor.
Watts January 02, 2013 at 07:15 AM
Here is what I find with such "studies" or statistics, which is that most (even gov't agencies) can feel that there is a greater good to creating a social paranoia about a threat that far exaggerates its actual impact. Hence, we end up with things like this that waste resources on social issues that do not have the impact that we are lead to believe. Obviously, this article is a great example of this, when it states that we all have a 30% chance of personally being the victim of injury or death from an impaired driver, yet of the random sample of 1000 cars, only 1 driver was arrested even on the "suspicion" of being impaired. And let's be honest, this person probably stood about a significant chance of having otherwise gotten home without incident. But to believe this other statistic and presuming this sample set being random (if not even more tainted because of the holiday season to be more likely to include impaired drivers), we would have to believe that this person would have otherwise been likely to have killed or injured 300 people (collectively) in his lifetime (while also being inebriated at all instances) to have that random sample set, sync up to that claim. So, what we end up with is a complete disproportionate use of tax payer dollars combating issues that are not being accurately reported. Basically, we are in the "refer madness" years, culturally, combating another social issue that is nowhere near as probable as is is being made to appear.
Watts January 02, 2013 at 07:38 AM
And before you (John) or anybody else thinks that I am in any way ignoring the impact that such injuries or deaths may have, I am not. What I am saying is that I previously spent years crunching empirical data in my life for other reasons; both quantitative and qualitative. Basically, anybody (or any agency) with an agenda can make any set of numbers translate any way that they want them to. That is why I wanted to see where this ridiculous probability claim came from. And secondly, the very first time that I came to Patch and posted here was actually because I was the first on the scene for an accident just off the 710, where a teen passenger was killed because his girlfriend was allegedly drunk at the wheel. I was face to face on that horrid scene and while a police officer has probably scene it more often, I am not so far removed from it either. But in no way do I believe in participating in yet another social paranoia, simply because I feel that hyping the figures makes it seem more significant than it actually is. I know that you (John) commented in a different thread that you were happy about more funding going toward DUI policing, but I feel this to be a massive waste of taxpayer dollars because it makes people feel warm and fuzzy as a cause. Is it tragic when somebody dies by a DUI driver; yes. But it is equally tragic when somebody is killed by a sober driver and far more frequent. Socially, we are simply trying to find demons to appease our pain.
John B. Greet January 02, 2013 at 03:10 PM
I understand your points, Watts. Thanks. If you will not accept the impairment-related data from NHTSA there is really nothing further to discuss. The numbers have to come from SOMEwhere and all State and Local law enforcement agencies in the nation report their traffic collision data to NHTSA. http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Human%20Factors/Reducing%20Unsafe%20behaviors/810616.pdf Here's another source that has a different dog in the hunt. According to the Insurance Information Institute (providing data to insurance companies who end up paying out on claims related to impaired driving). In 2010, in those collisions where driver/operator behaviours were reported as a factor, 7,052 fatal collisions (or 15.9%) involved impaired driving. http://www.iii.org/facts_statistics/highway-safety.html Regardless of whether one agrees with the 30% statistic or not (as mentioned I can neither confirm nor deny it) one cannot possibly ignore the considerable number of motor vehicle collisions that occur as a result of some sort of impaired driving. In my view, the more enforcement *and* education we do in this area, the better for all concerned.
Watts January 02, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Th statistic from the insurance companies sounds completely believable; 1121 fatalities out of a 311mil+ population, where the driver tested as impaired. But the campaigns that we all see, falsely allude to the idea that removing that determined impairment would have removed the accident. I think that realistically, there is a very small percentage of those accidents that would not have taken place if the impairment factor was removed. Many are done by young, inexperienced drivers. The accident that I referred to was just after the 710 where it turns into Shoreline. As an experienced driver, I can see how the exit, which is an arching incline/sharp left can be tricky to navigate if you are coming off of it at highway speed. The girl who was driving that car looked so young, that I first thought that she couldn't have even been the driver. I saw no alcohol containers around the car and when I spoke to her I was right in her face trying to get information, but I never smelled even a hint of liquor on her breath, despite her practically hyperventilating into my face. I was shocked to find out that she even tested positive for alcohol. My point being that I personally think that even if the "impairment" was removed, that you can't get around the fact that this was a very inexperienced driver navigating a tricky road condition late at night and as unfortunate as this tragedy was, would have happened anyways.
Watts January 02, 2013 at 05:56 PM
There are probably other similarly contributing factors to the majority of the rest of those 1121 accidents, that also would have still existed no matter what. I don't do the late nights like I used to when I put on major concerts or even clubs, but I know how many sober nights I have driven home fighting off sleepiness. I am sure that experience is shared by anybody who has gotten off a long day at work to be driving home into the sun and been stopped at a long light and suddenly feeling that body jerk as you notice that you actually nodded off for a second. You don't have to be drunk to fall asleep at the wheel. Or the impaired person who is fiddling with their iPod or phone at the time of an accident is probably the same irresponsible person who would be doing the same distracting habits when sober. The point being that we could be a stone cold sober society and I don't think that the over all statistics for accidents or fatalities would change that dramatically, except for the fact that we wouldn't have the was he/she or wasn't he/she "impaired" statistic to talk about any more. Because we can't completely remove the other contributing factors of inexperienced drivers, tired late night drivers, distracted drivers, etc.. And in no way is this a defense of drinking and driving. It should be illegal. But I do think that as a society, that we waste far too much money and resources on this, all because it makes us feel better.
Nancy Wride (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 07:46 AM
Hey Watts, just back in town and hope to catch up in the morning. But I, too, snagged on that number as being extremely high for all the same reasons. Interested in where it came from.
John B. Greet January 03, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Thanks, Watts. Again, if nothing else (and as I believe I have demonstrated there is plenty else) I have my personal experiences of investigating thousands of collisions in Long Beach upon which to rely. Beyond these, add hundreds of drunk driving arrests after having observed some of the most dangerous driving behaviors imaginable. Most collisions have more than one causal factor. Many have multiple identifiable factors. If impairment is noted, that is always considered the primary collision factor because impairment tends to exacerbate all of the others. Absent impairment, most factors can be overcome and a collision avoided. Add impairment however, and the driver's perceptions are adversely influenced and his or her reactions are slowed. This often results in the occurence of collisions which otherwise are not likely to have happened. We can and should increase efforts at educating the public concerning the very real dangers of impaired driving. Regardless of how much pro-active public education we attempt, however, some people arestill going to choose to drive while impaired. For this reason increased enforcement efforts are also necessary and, I think, extremely valuable because, as many people with DUI records can attest, enforcement can be a valuable education all it's own.
Watts January 03, 2013 at 08:16 PM
And something from an article just released today, that goes along with my last post here: "The government estimates that about 3 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve drowsy drivers, but other estimates have put that number as high as 33 percent." http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/03/16328004-drowsy-driving-1-in-24-admits-nodding-off-at-the-wheel?lite And notice that the reader poll's sample set currently has 82% respondents stating that they have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Watts January 03, 2013 at 08:30 PM
I know that I have herd several times (and John, please correct me if this is not the case), that if there is an accident between two cars where the clear at fault would have been on one driver (let's say somebody who rear-ended another) that if the driver of the car that was hit, tested drunk, that the fault switches to them. Is that correct?
John B. Greet January 03, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Watts, in my experience, law enforcement collision reports in California identify, among other things, primary and other associated collision factors and which of the vehicles is the striking vehicle. If a non-impaired driver rear-ended an impaired driver (where nothing the impaired driver had done seemed to have been the proximate cause of the collision), I would have listed the vehicle driven by the non-impaired driver as the striking vehicle, the primary collision factor as "following too closely" (21703VC) and alcohol impairment as an "other associated factor" on the part of the impaired driver.
Panglonymous January 03, 2013 at 10:42 PM
I think there was a study showing a correlation between good government and functional alcoholism. If that were ever shown conclusively, do you think we could have a cultural reversal? The psychoactive crap these guys are taking now is for itshay.


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