LOMPOC – Lest the revelry of the holiday season take too strong a hold on the community and its drivers, the Lompoc Police Department conducted three separate DUI checkpoints between the 18th and the 22nd, notching approximately 30 arrests in the process.
The Lompoc Police Department is a prominent member of the “Avoid the 12” campaign, a collaborative effort on the part of Santa Barbara County’s law enforcement agencies that specifically targets impaired drivers. The county initiative experienced overwhelming success following its inception in 2005, eventually earning a second grant through the Office of Traffic Safety that extended its funding through Jan. 1, 2011.
After Lompoc officers checked over 700 vehicles passing through East Ocean Avenue last Friday, they were joined the following day by other “Avoid the 12” members on North H Street. Their perseverance paid off and the second checkpoint yielded two additional DUI arrests, one of which also led to charges of cocaine possession and child endangerment.
Law enforcement personnel redoubled their efforts on Tuesday, netting 16 arrests for unlicensed driving, driving on suspended licenses and an additional felony possession charge.
When asked earlier this month about the public’s response to frequent traffic checkpoints, Sgt. Ed Lardner revealed that Lompoc officials routinely receive gestures of thanks, even from drivers passing through the inspection site. He also described recent checkpoint results as “typical.”
“We do not base the success or failure of a checkpoint on the number of arrests we make,” he said. “All checkpoints are a success when we can deter even one person from drinking and driving.”
— Taylor Gutsche