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Law enforcement urges motorists to take personal responsibility this holiday season

Law enforcement officials countywide will be scanning the roads for motorists driving under the influence through New Years Day with extra patrols.
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Law enforcement officials countywide will be scanning the roads for motorists driving under the influence through New Years Day with extra patrols. 

The county’s sheriff’s department, along with police in San Diego, Chula Vista and Oceanside will send extra patrols funded with grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Local law enforcement agencies are participating in the nationwide crackdown on impaired driving through a "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. 

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is scheduled to begin it’s Maximum Enforcement Period at 6:01 p.m on Dec.24, and is scheduled to continue through Dec. 26 where officers will be on the road for enhanced enforcement. 

According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, at least 38 people were killed in crashes in California throughout the Christmas holiday enforcement period last year. Officers made 573 DUI arrests during that 78-hour period. In 2020, more than 90,000 violations for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs were cited by CHP officers through California. 

“The CHP will be out on California’s roadways while the public travels to join friends and family this weekend,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray in a statement. “Our goal is the same as yours, to make certain you arrive safely at your destination.”

San Diego has seen the highest number of DUI-related crashes this year compared to the last two years with 37 people have died so far, according to San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan.

Substances that may impair driving could result in a DUI arrest. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services recommends the following and urges motorists to take personal responsibility by planning ahead before the holiday celebration begins. 

  • Designate a non-drinking
  • Take a ride service
  • Stay where you are
  • Take public transportation like a taxi, a bus, or a train.
  • Phone a sober friend
  • If you’re a host, provide alternative drinks to your guests

To report someone driving under the influence, call 9-1-1.  Be prepared to provide the dispatcher a location, direction of travel, and vehicle description.