The final numbers are in from "Avoid the 38"--as in avoid the 38 Orange County law enforcement agencies that coordinate strategies to take you off the road if you're driving drunk. Over the Winter Holiday DUI Mobilization crackdown that ran Dec. 16-Jan. 1, 836 people were popped for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Over the same period a year ago, there were 743 DUI arrests.
Fortunately, there were no DUI-related fatalities during the holiday period that just passed. Last year, there were five.
Some have complained about the costs in manpower and hassles in holding sobriety checkpoints, whether or not they are part of a winter campaign. But the Avoid the 38 task force points to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data that shows taxpayers save $6 for every $1 spent. Grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the NHTSA, help fund anti-DUI enforcement locally.
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Expect more. Avoid the 38 says operations will be stepped up throughout the county over Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick's Day.