Anyone taking that weird Laguna Niguel to Costa Mesa route this evening, with an overnight stop before heading on to Garden Grove Saturday night, will want to take extra care as three law enforcement agencies are running sobriety checkpoints in those towns those nights. Tonight's locations are undisclosed, as the Orange County Sheriff's Department stops motorists somewhere in Laguna Niguel from 6 p.m. through 2 a.m. Saturday, and the Costa Mesa Police Department does the same, although that DUI checkpoint does not start up until 7 this evening.
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The Garden Grove Police Department is disclosing their checkpoint location, which is why they're getting Christmas cards from us this year. It's at Euclid and Stanford from 9 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday.
The point of all the checkpoints is to remove impaired or unlicensed drivers from the streets but no doubt even more to raise awareness among the many, many more motorists who will be inconvenienced. Garden Grove cops cite stats that show a 20 percent reduction in drunken driving crashes when checkpoints are well-publicized.
The operations in all three cities have something else in common: all are funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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.