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Drunk-driving crackdown begins this weekend in L.A.

August 19, 2011 |  9:28 am

A CHP sobriety checkpoint in Orange County in 2003
Los Angeles police will launch an end-of-summer crackdown on drunk drivers by setting up more than a dozen sobriety checkpoints beginning this weekend.

Dubbed the “Avoid the 100” campaign because of the number of local police agencies involved, the checkpoint program will aim to reduce drunk driving collisions and fatalities, officials said.

The campaign will run through Labor Day.

"Our message is simple and unwavering: if we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you.
No exceptions," Lt. Ron Katona said in a statement. "Even if you beat the odds and manage to walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can still destroy your life."

Violators face jail time, loss of their driver's licenses or other penalties. The sobriety checkpoints will run from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Some of this weekend’s checkpoints include the following:  Figueroa Street and 33rd Street in the Southwest area; Glenoaks Boulevard and Paxton Street in the Foothill area; Topanga Canyon Boulevard and San Jose Street in the Devonshire area; and Sunset Boulevard and Sutherland Street in the Northeast area.

In 2009, 10,839 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit for alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle crashes was 21 to 24.

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--Carlos Lozano

Photo: A California Highway Patrol sobriety checkpoint in Orange County in 2003. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

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