Police Agencies to Unite in Move to Curb Drunk Drivers
Torrance police on Friday night will conduct the first drunk-driving checkpoint ever set up by a South Bay police department, officials said, as area departments launch an effort to curb drunk driving during the holidays.
Sgt. Ron Trabor said officers will stop drivers at an undisclosed location beginning about 10 p.m. and check for signs of intoxication. The legality of such checkpoints were upheld by the California Supreme Court in October.
Meanwhile, seven South Bay police departments, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol are joining forces during the holidays to patrol South Bay streets in search of drunk drivers, police said.
Police departments from the cities of El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach will team officers and provide cars to patrol the area, said Gardena Police Lt. John Fodor. The Lennox sheriff’s station, which patrols Lennox and Lawndale, also will participate.
CHP to Provide Van
The CHP will provide a van with equipment to test for alcohol in drivers’ blood, Fodor said. Arrested persons will be given the choice of breath, blood or urine tests, and those who fail will be booked and jailed in the city where they are arrested, he said.
“The main thrust of the program is to deter drunk drivers and take them off the road if they’re out there,” Fodor said.
The program also will be used for teaching by pairing experienced officers, trained to recognize the symptoms of drug use and alcohol consumption, with less experienced officers, Fodor said. The officers will be from different agencies to increase interaction among departments, he added.
Officers from the combined forces will patrol daily from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., starting Saturday and continuing through New Year’s Eve.
The Los Angeles Police Department has increased motorcycle patrols to watch for drunk drivers in Harbor Gateway, Harbor City, San Pedro and Wilmington.