Celebrate your freedoms brought by war heroes, just don't drive immediately afterward.
Celebrate your freedoms brought by war heroes, just don't drive immediately afterward.
Cover image from Irish and German Whiskey and Beer: Drinking Patterns in the Civil War by Thomas P. Lowry

Drunken Driving Arrests Were Up in OC Over Memorial Day Weekend But No DUI Deaths

See the update at the end of this post with results from the anti-DUI enforcement by 38 Orange County law enforcement agencies over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 23, 6:05 A.M.: Orange County's "Avoid the 38 DUI Task Force"--the number referring to how many law enforcement agencies are part of it--is literally pulling out all the stops this Memorial Day weekend.

The anti-boozy and -druggy driving campaign kicked off with a DUI/drivers license checkpoint in Newport Beach last night, and continues with more sobriety stops tonight in Anaheim, Placentia, Seal Beach and Yorba Linda, the Orange County Sheriff's Department announced.

Meanwhile, "Special DUI Saturation Patrols" are being deployed all over the county all weekend.

Newport Beach Holds DUI Checkpoint Thursday Night

These patrols, which have cops and deputies assigned solely to looking for impaired drivers, are being run in Brea, Cypress, La Palma, Seal Beach, Tustin, Irvine (including UC Irvine), Westminster and several of the cities that contract the sheriff's department for police services.

"The California Highway Patrol is deploying all available officers Memorial Day weekend onto freeways and county roads as part of their Maximum Enforcement Period," notes the sheriff's department in the "Avoid the 38" release.

These agencies passed along these tips to avoid, well, "Avoid the 38":

* Plan ahead. Arrange rides home for your friends, family, co-workers and yourself before the drinking begins.
* Limit drinks to your guests or patrons. Don't serve more than one or two drinks over several hours.
* Identify and provide free non-alcoholic drinks to the Designated Sober Driver. For tasty drink recipes, visit the DDrink Mixology Center at www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS.
* If you are the Designated Driver, download the special Smartphone app that makes you the VIP, with free non-alcoholic drinks and other giveaways, at www.ddvipca.com.
* Cut back on the amount of drinks you plan to bring to the party and provide plenty of food.
* Report drunk drivers: Call 9-1-1!

The task force warns more checkpoints and special patrols are coming for the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend and reminds that funding for these operations comes from grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

UPDATE, MAY 29, 7:39 A.M.: The anti-DUI "Avoid the 38" task force on Wednesday afternoon announced the results from four DUI/drivers license checkpoints, seven special DUI saturation patrols and numerous officers out on routine patrol over the long Memorial Day holiday period.

"From 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 23, 2014, through 12 a.m. Monday, May 26, 2014, officers representing 38 county law enforcement agencies made 226 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs," reads the "Avoid the 38" announcement. "In 2013, 216 DUI arrests occurred during the Memorial Day holiday weekend."

Fortunately, there were no DUI deaths reported during the campaign period in OC, where there were none over the same holiday period in 2013.

Statewide, the California Highway Patrol made 1,111 DUI arrests from 6:01 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday. During that time, 19 people were killed statewide in traffic crashes.

"Avoid the 38" promises more DUI crackdowns during the Fourth of July holiday and an 18-day period in August that ends Labor Day weekend.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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