Sheriff receives grant for countywide DUI enforcement

The primary cause of deaths on local streets and highways remains drunk and impaired driving and the Avoid the 14 DUI Task Force will keep up with its DUI enforcement in San Diego County as a result of a $315,000 federal grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which will administer the grant for the entire county.

“Partnerships amongst county law enforcement agencies help to strengthen our efforts to combat drunk and impaired driving,” said Sheriff Bill Gore. “This year we hope to make an impact and keep our roads safe for the people of San Diego County.”

The Avoid the 14 DUI Campaign is named to send the message that, if you don’t drink and drive, you will avoid getting arrested by any of the 14 participating law enforcement agencies in the county.

The campaign will specifically target those who drink too much and get behind the wheel. Deputies and officers will be staffing DUI/Driver License checkpoints, and local DUI saturation patrols. Additionally, funding will target the “worst of the worst” repeat DUI offenders with warrant sweeps and court sting enforcement operations focusing on DUI offenders who attend court hearings and drive away on suspended licenses after being ordered not to drive by a judge.

“The Avoid DUI Task Forces have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths on our roadways in the last five years in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “Tragically, DUI deaths remain the largest sector, at over 30 percent of traffic fatalities. This grant will help combat that, making San Diego County a safer place to live and work.”

DUI/Driver License checkpoints are a key component of the grant. These highly visible, publicized events are meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.

Drivers can expect to see DUI campaigns during the winter and summer holiday periods as well as on Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and during local special events with identified DUI problems.

Agencies participating in the Avoid the 14 taskforce include: San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department, National City Police Department, Coronado Police Department, La Mesa Police Department, San Diego State University, Palomar College, San Diego County Probation, Chula Vista Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, Harbor Police, Escondido Police Department, University of California San Diego and Cal State San Marcos

A list of countywide enforcement operations for the Winter Holiday DUI Crackdown includes:

•Friday, Dec. 16, DUI/Driver License (DL) checkpoints from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Vista, Escondido, Lemon Grove, and from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. in City of San Diego.

•Saturday, Dec. 17, DUI/Countywide Driver License (CDL) checkpoints from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Santee, San Marcos and National City.

•Saturday, Dec. 17, DUI saturation patrols from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. in Oceanside and Chula Vista and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in City of San Diego

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