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Man Arrested in Police Checkpoint Accident

July 21, 1996|NICK GREEN

A suspected drunk driver plowed through a police sobriety checkpoint in Oxnard early Saturday, striking two vehicles, including a patrol car, before stopping, authorities said.

Police said the driver, 54-year-old Blas Chavez Arzabaz of Ventura, was taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and treated for head, back, shoulder, leg and facial injuries. He was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, authorities said. No one else was reported injured.

The incident occurred about 12:30 a.m. Saturday when the van driven by Arzabaz struck a patrol car that was parked to protect officers at the checkpoint near La Colonia on Oxnard Boulevard.

The van collided with a station wagon stopped at the checkpoint and then veered between two other parked police cars. The van then jumped a curb before coming to rest partly on a railroad right of way next to the road, police said.

The incident prompted police to terminate the checkpoint, conducted to remove unlicensed and impaired drivers from the roads, Officer Ken Klopman said in a statement.

"This was the seventh checkpoint of 1996 and the 20th that the Oxnard Police Department has conducted since the roadside sobriety checkpoint program began in September 1994," he said. "The Oxnard Police Department is committed to further reducing DUI crashes by continuing to conduct monthly checkpoints throughout the city."

In addition to Arzabaz, police took into custody another motorist on suspicion of driving under the influence.

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