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Petaluma checkpoints find 3 unlicensed drivers

Two police checkpoints in Petaluma late Saturday and early Sunday yielded no arrests for drunken drivers but took three unlicensed drivers off the road, police said.

Police set up checkpoints from 6 to 9 p.m. on Payran Street near Lindberg Lane and from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Petaluma Boulevard South at Crystal Lane.

In all, 194 vehicles went through the checkpoints, Sgt. Jim Stephenson said. Thirteen drivers were directed into nearby parking areas for further investigation and seven were given field sobriety tests.

While no drunken drivers were discovered, police did find three motorists who were driving without a license and they were arrested, Stephenson said.

Several vehicles had sober designated drivers, Stephenson said.

The purpose of the checkpoint operation was to raise public awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and to take enforcement action against impaired drivers and those driving with a suspended license or no license at all, Stephenson said.

Funding for the operation came from a federal grant administered by the state Office of Traffic Safety.

Petaluma police have arrested 200 suspected drunken drivers this year, compared to 160 during the same period last year.


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