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Montebello police stepping up DUI enforcement

MONTEBELLO - The Montebello Police Department will be conducting a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint this week to kick off its winter DUI enforcement program.

It's also part of the national campaign, "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit. Under Arrest."

Beginning at 6 p.m. tonight, officers will pull over drivers at an undisclosed location, checking for those driving under the influence as well as those without a valid driver's license, said Cpl. R. Yap of the Montebello police Traffic Bureau.

"The department is dedicated to keeping our roadways safe through enforcement and education," he said.

The MPD - in cooperation with the California Office of Traffic Safety, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the California Department of Transportation - is promoting the use of the 9-1-1 emergency phone number system to report drunk drivers.

A total of six DUI checkpoints be held into 2008 using a $41,837 grant from the Office of Traffic Safety.

The department gets funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The grant is to assist local law enforcement agencies with reducing impaired driving and the number of people killed and injured in alcohol- and drug-related traffic collisions.

The city of La Mirada also received a grant totaling $24,985.

"The primary purpose of our DUI/DL checkpoints is to educate the public about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs," said La Mirada Lt. Bob Esson of the sheriff's substation.

Last year, more than 31,000 Californians were injured and in drug- and alcohol-related crashes on the state's roadways, .

"When more people drive sober and safely, lives are saved," said Christopher J. Murphy, director of OTS. "It's just that simple."

Montebello police nab an average of two drunken drivers at their DUI checkpoints, Yap said.

"It's two more drivers off the street who shouldn't be there," he said.

A lot more people are caught without a driver's license or with an expired one.

All cars are impounded immediately, Yap said.

1,597 were killed according to the Office of Traffic Safety

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