Tag Archives: driving

Feds & state again fund West Sacramento DUI checkpoint program


West Sacramento’s police department announced last month that it will receive renewed funding for DUI checkpoints and other traffic enforcement.

The department has been awarded a $ 91,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries, it reported.   West Sacramento Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

“After falling dramatically between 2006 and 2010, the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions saw slight increases in 2011 and 2012,” said the W.S.P.D. statement. “Particularly worrisome are recent increases in pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities and the dangers of distracting technologies. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk and drugged driving and speeding.”

“California’s roadways are still among the safest in the nation,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft in a press statement.  “But to meet future mobility, safety, and sustainability objectives, we must create safer roadways for all users.  The West Sacramento Police Department will be using these and other resources to reach the vision we all share – Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.”

Activities that the grant will fund include:
•    DUI checkpoints
•    DUI saturation patrols
•    Motorcycle safety enforcement
•    Distracted driving enforcement
•    Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
•    Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
•    Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
•    Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
•    Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Follow-up: two north-city DUI checkpoints net several citations, but no DUIs


West Sacramento’s police department has reported back on the results of a pair of checkpoints set up to catch drunk drivers and unlicensed drivers on the weekend of August 30-31.

The checkpoints were set up for about six hours beginning at 7 p.m. each night. They were announced in advance (and announced on the News-Ledger’s website at WestSac.com) but the locations were kept secret until they opened.

Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the W.S.P.D. reports that the Saturday checkpoint was at Harbor Boulevard and Duluth Street. A total of 506 vehicles passed through. Four drivers were pulled over for sobriety tests. No one was arrested for driving under the influence, but three were cited for driving without a license and three more for having a suspended license.

The Sunday checkpoint was set up at Sacramento Avenue and Simon Terrace.

A total of 648 vehicles passed through. Two drivers were given field sobriety tests, but neither was arrested for DUI. Three drivers were cited for driving without a license, six for using a suspended license and one person was arrested on a warrant.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Special DUI-prosecuting unit to continue


The state’s Office of Traffic Safety will continue to fund a special DUI enforcement unit in Yolo County, reports the Yolo District Attorney’s office.

The state has awarded Yolo $233,295 for the prosecution of “driving under the influence” cases, said a press statement from Chief Deputy D.A. Jonathan Raven.

A drunk driver faces 30 years after rolling his car off an embankment near Rumsey. His wife and 14-year old son both died in the accident. Photo courtesy of Yolo County D.A.’s office

A drunk driver faces 30 years after rolling his car off an embankment near Rumsey. His wife and 14-year old son both died in the accident.
Photo courtesy of Yolo County D.A.’s office

“As a result of the (Office of Traffic Safety) funding, a highly trained staff can focus attention and resources on repeat offenders and drivers who cause collisions where there is an injury or fatality,” said Raven. “The grant will continue to fund the District Attorney’s Vertical Prosecution Unit, allowing one prosecutor to handle a case through all stages of the criminal process, from the time of arrest through sentencing. The funding also allows the team to assist law enforcement in the investigation of fatal and major injury collisions.”

The office prosecutes “thousands” of DUI cases annually, said Raven. Most of those are alcohol-related, but prosecutors are seeing more cases of drivers under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs, methamphetamine or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

The Yolo prosecution team includes Deputy D.A. Matt De Moura, investigator John Shugart (a retired CHP sergeant) and legal secretary Lori Castaneda. Last month, the team joined Deputy D.A. Martha Holzaphel in gaining the conviction of Reyes Barajas of Redwood City on two counts of second degree murder. Barajas killed his wife and teenage son in an accident while he was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent. A level of 0.08 percent is “presumed guilty” for DUI.

Barajas had three prior DUI convictions. He faces 30 years to life in state prison.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Hoping it sticks: teens at RCHS get a lesson on safe driving


By Sarina Phoung and Tommy Rickard
River City High School Journalism Class

National Teen Driver Safety Week kicked off at River City High School last week with a visit from the Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) program, which is an educational program that travels to schools across the nation informing students about safe driving and the consequences of being a distracted driver.

River City’s driver education teacher, Shannon Woods, and her students worked with staff from ITD to host an event to raise awareness about distracted driving.

Leeana Clegg lost her teenage son in a “100 percent preventable” road accident. Last week, she shared her story with River City High School students. Photo by Nadia Benafghoul, River City High School Student

Leeana Clegg lost her teenage son in a “100 percent preventable” road accident. Last week, she shared her story with River City High School students.
Photo by Nadia Benafghoul, River City High School Student

Students who attended the event learned that over 4,000 teens die and half a million injured every year in car accidents. Many of these accidents are caused when the driver is distracted. A cell phone, a passenger, loud music – anything that takes your focus off the road – can be detrimental to your well-being.

In order to enlighten underage drivers on how to avoid possible dangers, ITD encouraged students to be aware of the rules and regulations of the Graduated Driver Licensing program (GDL), which is a three-stage licensing system for future drivers who are under the age of 18. The logic behind the GDL is to allow young drivers to safely gain driving experience before they get full driving privileges.

In California, new drivers under the age of 18 have certain restrictions under the GDL that include being allowed no passengers in their car for the first 12 months.

According to ITD, each passenger in a car increases the risk of an accident by 100 percent. They feel that if more teens knew the dangers of distracted driving, fatalities could possibly decrease.

The RCHS event included  a short film and five stations that involved students interacting with possible threats while driving.

The short film at the beginning of the event detailed the life of 8th grader Hunter Clegg, whose life was cut short after a car accident that led to his death.

The collision occurred when Hunter and friends were distracting their seventeen year old driver, who only had his GDL and was illegally driving with passengers.

One of the speakers who made an appearance at the event was Hunter Clegg’s mother, Leeana Clegg. She spoke about her son’s death and told students, “His death was 100 percent preventable.”

“Simple decisions you make inside a car can change your life forever,” said Clegg.


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Copyright News-Ledger 2013