149 OC Arrests Logged After 1st Weekend of DUI Sweeps; Costa Mesa Adds Checkpoint

See Update No. 3 on Page 2 with results from the first weekend of the “Avoid the 38” campaign against drunken driving through Labor Day, plus Costa Mesa's checkpoint plans. Update Nos. 1 and 2 were on past sobriety stops in Irvine and Seal Beach.

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 16, 8 A.M.: There was a brief lull there for a coupla weeks or so but Orange County law enforcement is gearing up for an end-of-summer blitz aimed at removing drunken drivers from roads.

The fun begins tonight with DUI checkpoints in Garden Grove and San Juan Capistrano.


Garden Grove cops announced their operation runs from 9 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday in the area of Euclid Street and Stanford Avenue. The department's Traffic Unit also plans a checkpoint from 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, through 3 a.m. Aug. 25 near Euclid and Chapman Avenue, according to officials.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department, which patrols San Juan Capistrano under a contract with the city, is not saying where its checkpoint will be located tonight.

But the sheriff-run “Avoid the 38” DUI task force–the number representing how many Orange County law enforcement agencies belong–did reveal deputies, police officers and CHP officers will be out in force tonight through Sept. 2 as part of the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunken driving.

In addition, the Placentia Police Department is tonight running “saturation patrols,” where officers are assigned not to their regular beats but streets known for drunken driving arrests, accidents and fatalities.

“Avoid the 38” announced future saturation patrols in these cities: Garden Grove and Placentia, Friday, Aug. 23; Los Alamitos, Monday, Aug. 26; Orange, Seal Beach and Placentia, Friday, Aug. 30; and Anaheim, Sunday, Sept. 1.

Cal State Fullerton Police and cops in Buena Park and Laguna Beach also have saturation patrols coming though the dates have not yet been determined, according to “Avoid the 38,” which notes these and other police agencies could schedule additional operations like this before the summer is out.

The task force also announced these coming DUI/drivers license checkpoints: Cypress, La Palma and Seal Beach, Saturday, Aug. 24; Seal Beach again on Thursday, Aug. 29; and Anaheim, Friday, Aug. 30.

Westminster, Laguna Beach and Irvine are also planning checkpoints on not yet determined dates, according to the task force.

Funding for “Avoid the 38” programs and local city checkpoints and patrols is provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

UPDATE NO. 1, AUG. 16, 12:08 P.M.: The Seal Beach Police Department has also announced a DUI checkpoint from 6 this evening through 3 a.m. Saturday.

No location for the operation, where drivers licenses are also to be checked, was released.

UPDATE NO. 2, AUG. 16, 5:06 P.M.: The Irvine Police Department announced a sobriety checkpoint from 8 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Sunday at Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive.
UPDATE NO. 3, AUG. 20, 2:38 P.M.: The sheriff's department-administered “Avoid the 38” campaign announced there were 149 arrests in Orange County for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Data was sought for all 38 OC law enforcement agencies, but some had not yet reported by the time “Avoid the 38” made the announcement. Thankfully, there were no DUI-related fatalities over that period, which last year produced 153 arrests countywide.

Costa Mesa Police announced today it is joining the statewide effort to put more checkpoints and patrolling officers on its roads through Sept. 2. To that end, the department announced it will hold a sobriety stop somewhere in the city on Aug. 30. Costa Mesa cops do not disclose the locations of checkpoints in advance.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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