See the update at the end of this post on the sheriff's department disclosing more DUI arrests during the holiday enforcement period and more checkpoints this weekend.
ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 20, 6:30 A.M.: Through some evil quirk, today--yes, today--will be the busiest day of the holiday travel season. So what better night than tonight--yes, tonight--for at least two Orange County cities to hold DUI checkpoints, in addition to two more Saturday night and extra patrols for boozy drivers throughout the county all weekend?
Garden Grove previously announced DUI checkpoints somewhere in the city tonight and Saturday night.
The more specific Irvine Police Department announced that the one there begins at 8 tonight at Jamboree Road and Birch Street.
"Please, don't let tragedy strike you or your loved ones," Irvine Police Chief David Maggard Jr. says in the release. "Make a plan for a safe ride home."
It's back to mystery location time in Anaheim, where the sobriety stop runs from 8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday.
Keep in mind that drivers are not only checked for signs of being impaired but of being properly licensed to drive.
As they have all month, extra patrols will be held in Costa Mesa and Orange County Sheriff's Department patrolled streets that are known for drunken driving citations, accidents and fatalities.
The county's DUI task force, known as "Avoid the 38" for the number of law enforcement agencies that participate, revealed earlier this week that from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, through midnight Sunday, Dec. 15, 209 individuals were arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
During the same period in 2012, there were 227 DUI arrests. There were no DUI deaths over that weekend this year. Data will be collected through midnight Sunday, Jan. 1, 2014, as part of the countywide holiday DUI crackdown.
By the way, some are not out of the clear even after they go to court for DUI. "Avoid the 38" also disclosed five people were arrested Thursday in a sting at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. Those popped had previously had their drivers licenses suspended for drunken driving, but after their court proceedings they were followed to their cars and busted as they tried to drive away, according to sheriff's officials.
Then came the ultimate holiday lump of coal: their vehicles were impounded for 30 days.
Checkpoints, saturation patrols and courthouse stings are provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
UPDATE, DEC. 20, 2:21 P.M.: According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department:
From 12:01 a.m. on Friday, December 13 through midnight Thursday, December 19, officers representing 38 county law enforcement agencies have arrested 315 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In 2012, 353 DUI arrests occurred during the same seven (7) day time period. There have been no DUI deaths reported. (NOTE: These numbers are only provisional with some agencies yet to report).
For the second weekend of the campaign a DUI/driver's license checkpoint will be conducted in the city of Santa Ana and the cities of Cypress, Los Alamitos, and Seal Beach will be conducting a multi-agency DUI/Driver's license checkpoint. The city of Orange will be deploying extra local DUI saturation patrols and the cities of Brea, La Habra, and Placentia, along with the CSU Fullerton Police, will be deploying multi-agency DUI saturation patrols.
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Makes "home for the holidays" sound like a good idea, especially for anyone spiking their nog.
This just in ... If you must drive and want to know where checkpoints are so you can high-five bored cops, there's apparently an app for that:
iPhone App "DUI Dodger" gives users EXACT locations of DUI Checkpoints in real time, for only a one time fee of $4.99. The service is nationwide, but has a special emphasis in California. iPhone app DUI Dodger is the #1 selling DUI Checkpoint Finder in the country.