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Hemet DUI checkpoints planned

DUI checkpoints will be set up from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday at locations Hemet police will not disclose in advance.

Officers will check for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, as well as valid driver’s licenses, according to a news release from Hemet police Lt. Dean Evans.

“If officers suspect that a driver has been drinking or is impaired, they will conduct a field sobriety test,” said Evans.

Those who fail can expect to go to jail, vehicle storage fees, license suspensions, insurance rate increases, fines, fees, DUI classes, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, said Evans.

In Hemet, DUI collisions have claimed nine lives in three years and resulted in 170 injuries, said Evans.

Statewide, traffic deaths declined by 23 percent, from 3,995 in 2007 to 3,081 in 2009 during the same period.

Traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels since the federal government began keeping figures six decades ago.

DUI 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.

Funding for this and other DUI checkpoints comes from a California Office of Traffic Safety grant through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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