Under the likely theory that Christmas-New Year’s partying is already under way, two Orange County law enforcement agencies hold DUI checkpoints tonight.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department runs one somewhere in San Clemente from 7 p.m. through 3 a.m.
That’s the same end time for the sobriety stop near Anaheim Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue, but the Anaheim Police Department operation begins an hour later at 8 p.m.
In either areas, specially trained cops and deputies will be looking for signs that motorists who pass through are legally drunk and/or on drugs, including legally obtained marijuana and prescription drugs. Thus, a statewide campaign called “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”
To explain the importance of anti-DUI operations such as checkpoints, the agencies cite California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System statistics that showed over the Christmas (Dec. 22-25) and New Year’s (Dec. 30-Jan. 2) holiday periods of 2017, 25 people were killed and 643 were injured on California roads.
Funding for impaired driving enforcement operations comes to each department from separate California Office of Traffic Safety grants, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Such funding also supports the Garden Grove Police Department’s participation in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which includes having more officers on roads Dec. 14-Jan. 1 looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs–in what are known as saturation patrols–as well as a Dec. 22 checkpoint we’ll have more details about in a later post.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.