There will be three--count 'em--THREE sobriety checkpoints in Orange County tonight, one at an undisclosed spot in Laguna Niguel and the other two at disclosed spots in Anaheim and Santa Ana.
Up first is the Orange County Sheriff's Department DUI Task Force DUI/drivers license checkpoint that starts at 6 tonight and continues through 3 a.m. Saturday in Laguna Niguel.
The similar Anaheim operation runs from 8 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday in the 400 block of South Brookhurst Street.
Santa Ana's goes from 9 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday in the area of 3300 W. Fifth Street.
Deputies in Laguna Niguel and cops in Anaheim and Santa Ana will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment along with checking drivers for proper licensing.
Keep in mind that if you get stopped and popped at a checkpoint, your troubles have only just begun. Next will come the fees and fines and lawyer costs and lost work time, etc., etc. But law enforcement may not be done with you.
For instance, on Monday, sheriff's deputies conducted an undercover court sting at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, where offenders who had been told of their license suspension due to DUI or who had never been issued a drivers license were staked out.
Fifteen of these folks were followed by deputies from courtrooms to their vehicles to ensure that they were not driving. Eight proceeded to get behind the wheel and drive off. Due to the sheriff's manpower on hand, only seven of these drivers could be stopped.
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"Six of the offenders received a misdemeanor traffic citation and had their vehicles towed by the deputies who stopped them," the sheriff's department announced. "One of the drivers had an out-of-state license and was unaware his license status had been suspended in California. The driver who was unable to be stopped outside of the courthouse will face possible charges from the Orange County District Attorney in the future."
Earlier, on May 18, deputies went into neighborhoods with dozens of outstanding warrants in search of high risk DUI offenders. Eight people were arrested for either failing to show up for a court date or violating terms of their probation in outstanding DUI cases. Ten more offenders turned themselves in to the court during the two weeks following the warrant event after deputies had tried to serve warrants at their residences.
Funding for the checkpoints, court sting and warrant event comes from California Office of Traffic Safety grants, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.