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DUI Checkpoint Scheduled for Last Weekend in March in Hemet Area

Hemet police have arrested more than 80 people on suspicion of DUI since November 2011, a police corporal said Thursday.

Police plan to stage a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint in the Hemet area on the last weekend in March, a police corporal announced Thursday.

The exact time and location of the checkpoint was not disclosed. A Hemet police dispatcher said it would take place on Saturday March 31 or Sunday April 1.

"The purpose of the checkpoint is to promote public safety by increasing awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, drug impaired driving, and unlicensed drivers," Hemet police Cpl. Frank Pitetti said in a prepared statement.

"If you are a motorist and happen to enter a DUI/Driver’s license checkpoint please proceed with caution," Pitetti said. "There will be advanced warning signs or devices to warn motorists to slow down and to have their driver’s license ready to present to an officer.

"Officers make every attempt to keep the flow of traffic moving and to keep motorists from being unreasonably delayed," Pitetti said. "If you happen to enter a checkpoint, do not make attempts to turn out from within the cone pattern. This is not only illegal, but can be dangerous and cause a traffic collision."

Funding for the checkpoint comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hemet police received the grant in November 2011, Pitetti said.

Since then Hemet police have conducted 20 DUI saturation patrols and 4 DUI checkpoints, all funded by the grant.

Since November, "there have (been) 12 persons arrested when attempting to pass through checkpoints and an additional 21 arrested during saturation patrols," Pitetti said. "In addition, Hemet police officers arrested 86 persons for suspicion of driving while impaired. Of the 86 total arrests, 26 persons were arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired, after being involved in injury traffic collisions."

Hemet police urged anyone who sees a suspected DUI driver to to call 911.

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