Special patrols by deputies hoping to remove from the streets drivers who have been over-boozing and/or -drugging blanket Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita tonight, the Orange County Sheriff's Department announced.
These saturation patrols are scheduled to run from 7 p.m. through 3 a.m. Saturday on roadways with frequent DUI arrests, collisions or fatalities, the agency adds.
Funding for the operation is provided through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The sheriff's department also announced results of the 20-day, "Winter Holiday Anti-DUI Crackdown" by the "Avoid the 38" task force of all 38 Orange County law enforcement agencies, who conducted saturation patrols, DUI checkpoints and other special ops.
From 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13 through midnight Wednesday, Jan. 1, there were at least 862 individuals arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (Numbers are provisional as all agencies have yet to report.) Over the same period last year, there were 971 DUI arrests.
Arrests may have been down this year, but one death has been attributed to DUI:
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No DUI-related deaths were reported over last year's holiday campaign.
The task force warns that more Avoid DUI operations will be held around Super Bowl Sunday in February and St. Patrick's Day in March.