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Sobriety and license checkpoint tonight in Venice

11/11/2010, 5 p.m.

VENICE, Calif.--A sobriety and license checkpoint will be conducted Friday evening in Venice, according to the Los Angeles police.

The drunken driving checkpoint will be held at Washington Boulevard between Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Yale Avenue from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, said LAPD Officer Don Iman.

Officers will be checking drivers for signs of alcohol and or drug impairment, said Iman. Any driver who fails a field sobriety test can expect jail, vehicle storage fees, a license suspension, insurance rate increases, fines, DUI classes and lawyer expenses that can exceed $10,000, he added.

Statewide, overall traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009, according to the state's Office of Traffic Safety. Total traffic deaths are at their lowest level in six decades, when the federal government began compiling figures.

Driving under the influence deaths declined by 16 percent from 1,132 in 2007 to 950 in 2009, according to federal statistics. Alcohol impaired deaths still make up the largest category of overall vehicle fatalities in 2009, with 31 percent of all deaths caused by a drunk or impaired driver.

"Everyone in California should be heartened by these figures,'' said Christopher Murphy, director of California's Office of Traffic Safety. "But as encouraging as this is, we can't let up on the efforts to encourage and support traffic safety.''

Funding for this checkpoint was provided to the LAPD by a grant from the OTS, through National Highway Safety Administration.