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8 arrested, 9 cited in Santa Maria DUI checkpoint, patrol operations

8 arrested, 9 cited in Santa Maria DUI checkpoint, patrol operations

Eight people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after Santa Maria Police conducted weekend checkpoint and saturation patrol operations. 

From 6 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday, police established a planned DUI checkpoint in the 200 block of South Broadway, where four drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, while nine others were cited for operating a vehicle unlicensed or driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to Michael McGehee, traffic sergeant with the Santa Maria Police Department. 

A total of 204 vehicles were screened at the checkpoint. 

Additionally, from 5 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, Santa Maria Police conducted a saturation patrol throughout the city utilizing five officers who made four DUI arrests, according to McGehee. A saturation patrol involves a group of officers who concentrate their efforts in a specific geographic area for the purpose of deterring crime or enforcing laws.  

The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving impaired, said McGehee, who added that another DUI/driver's license checkpoint will be held in the coming months. 

Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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