A driver's license and sobriety checkpoint in Coachella nabbed nine intoxicated drivers and triggered a high-speed chase, sheriff's officials reported today.
Riverside County sheriff's deputies conducted the checkpoint between 8 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday in the area of Cesar Chavez and Fourth streets, according to Sgt. Mariano Matos III.
A total of 363 drivers were screened, the sergeant said, with nine of those found to be driving under the influence.
Fourteen people were cited for driving unlicensed, one person was arrested for obstructing a peace officer and two people were arrested for public intoxication, he said. Four people were arrested for unspecified misdemeanor warrants, and another for an unspecified drug crime, Matos said.
A vehicle pursuit also ensued when deputies tried to stop a vehicle driven by a 31-year-old Thousand Palms man, who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and felony evading, authorities said.
One person died and another five suffered injuries in DUI-related crashes in Coachella last year, according to the sheriff's department.
Checkpoint locations are chosen based on historical data related to DUI crashes and arrests.
Those arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can spend time in jail and pay up to $13,500, including fines, fees, classes, license suspensions and other expenses.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.