UPDATE, DEC. 22, 10:49 A.M.: As we originally reported, there were sobriety checkpoints throughout Orange County over the weekend, and one alone netted 23 arrests, although only three of those arrests were for DUI-related offenses.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department held checkpoints in some of its South County contract cities, including Mission Viejo. According to Lt. Jeff Hallock, the sheriff's spokesman, the operation from 6 p.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Saturday in Mission Viejo resulted in: 690 vehicles screened; three DUI-alcohol impaired suspects arrested; 20 drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked; and four vehicles towed for storage or impound.
ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 19, 6:39 A.M.: It might be easier to list the Orange County cities where there is NOT a DUI checkpoint tonight as operations are scheduled in Irvine, Orange, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, La Habra and Mission Viejo. Extra patrols aimed at impaired drivers run tonight in Anaheim and Costa Mesa. And what about Saturday, you ask?
More of the same. But first: the only sobriety checkpoint location that has been released is Irvine's, in the area of Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive from 8 tonight through 2 a.m. Saturday, according to the police department. It's the second of 10 checkpoints the city plans to hold through September 2015, says Farrah Emami, the Irvine Police spokeswoman.
Orange County's anti-DUI task force gives 7 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday as the times of the checkpoints at undisclosed locations in Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, La Habra, Mission Viejo, Orange and Garden Grove, although the latter department separately announced a later start time: 9 p.m.
The saturation patrols, where officers on special assignment focus on local streets known for drunken driving stops, crashes and fatalities, run from 8 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday in Anaheim and Costa Mesa, while Anaheim and Irvine are scheduled to come back with more patrols 8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday.
There's also a DUI checkpoint scheduled from 7 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday in Laguna Beach.
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Wherever you find a checkpoint, it'll run pretty much the same. After a motorist stops, a specially trained officer will look for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Proper licensing may also be checked for. If a potential problem is detected, those motorists will be directed to a secondary inspection area.
Funded with California Office of Traffic Safety grants, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints yield costs savings of $6 for every $1 spent, claims the NHTSA. Speaking of costs, drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, according to Southern California's Avoid DUI Task Force.