Santa Maria

Driver cited during DUI, driver's license checkpoint

One driver was cited for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked during a nine-hour DUI and driver's license checkpoint conducted Friday night by the Santa Maria Police Department.

Of the 532 vehicles screened at 900 S. Broadway between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m., only one citation was issued, police said.

Officers were looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment and checking drivers for proper licensing. 

The goal of the DUI checkpoint — one of many that were conducted this year — was to take impaired and unlicensed drivers off the streets and increase public awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The Police Department will conduct another DUI checkpoint Jan. 27 at an undisclosed location.

Drivers caught impaired can expect a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

In the past three years, the Police Department has investigated 275 DUI collisions, which have claimed two lives and resulted in another 43 injuries.

Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Santa Maria

Trash collection schedule changed for holiday

There will be no trash or green waste collection services or street sweeping on Monday, New Year’s Day, in Santa Maria.

During holiday weeks, street sweeping and residential collection services occur one day later than usual. Trash and green waste containers should be set outside by 6:30 a.m.

The Santa Maria Regional Landfill, along with all city administrative offices, will be closed Monday and reopen Tuesday.

City curbside collection of Christmas trees continues through Saturday. 

Santa Barbara County residents serviced by Waste Management will also follow the same schedule.

To participate, place Christmas trees on the curb at least 3 feet away from trash containers on collection days (remember: one day later next week). Trees must be free of stands, tinsel and ornaments. Flocked trees will not be accepted.

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Charges apply for trees picked up after Jan. 6.

For more information, call the Santa Maria Utilities Department at 925-0951, ext. 7270, during regular business hours.

Santa Maria 

Free Los Flores Ranch Park hikes set for Monday

Two free hikes are being planned for New Year's Day at Los Flores Ranch Park, 6271 Dominion Road.

There will be a light, family-friendly 1½-mile round-trip hike and a vigorous, advanced four-mile round-trip hike. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Both hikes will begin at 10 a.m.

Participants will learn about local wildlife and native plants and take in views of the Santa Maria Valley during the docent-led events.

Hiking or walking shoes are highly recommended, and participants should bring water. 

Follow the signs for parking at Los Flores Ranch Park.