Orange County's 38 law enforcement agencies arrested 793 for DUI-related offenses between Friday, Aug. 16, at 12:01 a.m. through Monday, Sept. 2 at midnight, according to the sheriff's department. That's down from 843 DUI arrests over the same time period in 2012.
There were three fatalities on OC roads during the 18-day Summer/Labor Day enforcement period where drunken driving is suspected as the cause, but that cannot be confirmed until toxicology reports come back within the next three weeks, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock, the sheriff's public information officer.
Orange County's “Avoid the 38” anti-DUI task force credits increased checkpoints, saturation patrols and public education with driving down arrests this summer. But the task force is not resting on its laurels, revealing more region-wide enforcement will come around Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The California Highway Patrol also reported DUI arrests were down statewide.
A joint CHP/Costa Mesa Police Department checkpoint Friday along northbound Newport Boulevard and 19th Street had 2,951 vehicles pass through, according to the police department.
Of those, police say: 523 vehicles were screened; 12 field sobriety tests were administered; two were arrested on suspicion of DUI-alcohol; seven drivers were cited or arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed; one driver was cited or arrested for operating a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license; one other citation was issued unrelated to unlicensed or suspended/revoked license; and one vehicle was stored or impounded.
That checkpoint, others throughout the county and other regional anti-DUI ops are funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.