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Local News in Brief : Police Roadblocks to Check for Drunks

December 28, 1985

Adozen police officers will be assigned to a roadblock scheduled to begin tonight somewhere in the San Fernando Valley to check for drunk and drug-impaired drivers, Los Angeles police said Friday.

Deputy Police Chief Daniel Sullivan, who oversees the Valley's five police divisions, said the roadblock will be set up at a different place each night through New Year's Eve, but he refused to give the exact locations.

"You're just liable to run into a sobriety checkpoint anywhere you go," Sullivan said.

But drivers will be warned by signs that they are approaching a checkpoint and will have ample opportunity to turn onto side streets if they wish to avoid it, Sullivan said.

The checkpoint program, in effect from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m., will cause vehicles a three-minute delay while officers examine drivers for signs of intoxication, Sullivan said. If waits of more than three minutes develop, officers will check every other car, he said.

Among those at the roadblock, he said, will be officers trained to spot drivers who have ingested drugs or too much alcohol. The screening process takes about 30 seconds and involves checking for unusual eye or body movement and dilated pupils, according to Kirk Wilder, one of the specially trained police officers.

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