A holiday brought to you by the notorious candy-costume-greeting card cartel presents the perfect opportunity for cops to hold DUI checkpoints and "saturation patrols" all across Orange County.
"The scariest part of Halloween isn't the spooky costumes and scary pranks," says Sheriff Sandra Hutchens (not shown at right) in an "Avoid the 38" Task Force announcement. "It's the fact that too often impaired drivers don't plan ahead and end up making the roads scarier than a horror show."
The Costa Mesa Police Department kicks the buzz killing off with a DUI checkpoint at Newport Boulevard and Flower Street from 8 tonight to 2 a.m. Saturday.
Costa Mesa is also among the agencies participating in "Avoid the 38" saturation patrols, where officers swarm stretches of road frequented by boozy drivers.
Running tonight through Sunday, roving saturation patrols will also be held in Irvine, Cypress, Garden Grove and La Palma, as well as South County cities that contract the Sheriff's Department for police services.
According to the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, 16 people died and 417 were injured on Halloween in alcohol-involved collisions during the past five years.
"Avoid the 38" recommends:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
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- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 911;
Funding for these anti-DUI operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information, visit StopImpairedDriving.com or CaliforniaAvoid.org.