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It's an "intensive crackdown" on the inebriated cruiser, a campaign to curb drunk drivers. Beginning August 20, San Diego County Law Enforcement Agencies, all 14 of them, will deploy officers to man 17 DUI checkpoints, 7 mobile DUI saturation patrols, and a "warrant sweep" looking for repeat offenders throughout the county. The DUI shakedown, referred to by its tagline "Drunk Driving: Over the Limit, Under Arrest," will go on for 18 days at locations throughout the county during high-risk nighttime hours.

San Diego County, according to 2010's "Annual Report of the California DUI Management Information System," had the second highest number of DUI arrests in 2008, second only to Los Angeles County. That year, 18,588 arrests were made, nearly 1 out of every 100 drivers, an increase from 2007 when 16,848 drivers filled drunk-tanks throughout the county.

In response, San Diego County is one of 41 counties in the state that participates in the "California Avoid" program, which is funded through grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Law enforcement agencies credit the "no champagne while driving campaign" for decreasing the number of alcohol-related incidents that result in death or injury. "Combined deaths and injuries in 2007 were 1780, dropping to 1682 in 2008. Provisional 2009 data show that the numbers have dropped to 1317, a 26 percent decrease in just three years," reads the press release from San Diego's Avoid program.

"Violators will face jail time, loss of their driver's license, huge fines, and may be sentenced to use ignition interlocks," added the August 16 press release. "Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends, and coworkers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation."

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Comments

Founder Aug. 19, 2010 @ 12:22 p.m.

I encourage everyone to request a Police Ride-A-Long during this period. It is amazing just how many folks are staggering around our Neighborhoods on the way to their cars from drinking establishments before "trying" to drive homeward.

The period between 11 PM and 2 AM (or just after Closing) is "Impaired Driver Prime Time" and there are so many impaired drivers, driving "drunk", that one Police Officer described finding them as, "It's like shooting fish in a barrel"...

I'd also like to add that this has nothing to do with having one or more drinks with Dinner and or even some beers while enjoy a game i.e. "drinking responsibly"!

It does have everything to do with people that are trying to drive that are far, far over the "Alcohol Line"... In one stop, a driver was found double parked on a busy street, after he had past out while "trying" to drive home after closing time; bystanders called 911 because they thought he'd had a heart attack and died!

Here is a great link to find out more about the City Wide Problem of folks driving while totally impaired, because they have had way too much to drink and are way over the line:

http://www.pbspirits.com/alcohol-related-problems/ .

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deserttrat Aug. 19, 2010 @ 12:50 p.m.

There is a big problem with drinking and driving, but there is also a big problem with bars and restaurants over serving patrons and communities having too many bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It invites people that are not part of a community to come and get drunk and cause problems. Pacific Beach is a perfect example of this. There are too many licenses and although bars and restaurants are supposedly "trained" to be responsible...most are not. This city needs a way for the community to be able to address these issues. What we have now is not working.

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Founder Aug. 19, 2010 @ 5:53 p.m.

Reply #3 First, I'm truly sorry for your family's tragic loss...

I was trying to separate drinking responsibly from being too Drunk to drive but then driving anyway... but you of course are right; different folks are affected differently by the same amount of alcohol and all drivers must error on the SAFE SIDE.

Too often this drinking/driving issue gets caught up in accusations of "Bar Bashing" and what I was trying to describe is the difference between two drinking situations:

A.) one where folks drink responsible and are not a threat to themselves or others, the ideal situation for all.

B.) one where folks drink too much and are "over the line" and are a threat to themselves and Society, the worse situation for all.

The best option is to designate a driver what will not consume alcohol and always be prepared to phone for a friend, to pick you up, or take a tax,i if you are ever unsure of your ability to safely operate your vehicle...

I'd also like to agree with you, that Bar & Restaurant Owners have a legal responsibility to their customers to "pour" responsibly and not sell alcohol to folks that have already had too much to drink. That Place Of Last Drink (POLD) form and other info is on the PBSpirits website listed above.

There have been many studies that have documented the DIRECT connection between Alcohol usage and Crime; hopefully as less drivers drive Drunk, our City will become a safer place to live and many fewer folks will have to live with a preventable alcohol related tragedy in there lives.

Hopefully this post will help the conversation.

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Founder Aug. 20, 2010 @ 9:22 a.m.

Reply #5 I like you personal solution, that is what I and others do to eliminate the problem at the source, but too many choose not to do that, so what's next beside more of the same?

One idea that might really help, is to "again" lower the legal alcohol level from where it is now, which will put increased pressure on all folks that do drink, to do a better job of self restraint!

Getting a DUI ticket is really an expensive event and often a "game changer" for the recipient, so by making it easier to get a DUI ticket, more folks will have to change the way they drink! The one thing that stands in the way is the all powerful Alcohol Lobby that will apply huge financial pressure to our Legislators to keep the stats quo, which will help their bottom line but continue to enable problematic drinking and the tragic impacts of drunken driving. Maybe now, the Insurance Company Lobbyists will finally get more active and counter the "offers" of the alcohol Lobbyist's because the Insurance Companies also have much to gain by reducing the number of alcohol related accidents their policy holders are involved in.

It is a shame that more folks don't get involved and become proactive for making our streets safer for all that do drive; no matter what time of day or night it is!

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David Dodd Aug. 20, 2010 @ 4:52 p.m.

"You can lower legal BAC as far as you want, even to the point that 1 drink would be illegal, but you can’t legislate against bad judgment."

Very intellgent observation.

In Mexico, the law is this: It is illegal to drink and then drive.

Period. No legal limits. It doesn't stop people here from drinking and driving. I will say that, empirically, the number of alcohol-related accidents isn't any higher here than in the U.S. Of course, if you cause any accident here and the other party is affected in any way, the police will take you to jail unless you are insured. If the other party is injured (or worse), the police will take you to jail regardless of insurance. When they are satisfied that whatever legal fees or other restitution to the other party is paid, then they will bring you before a judge and fine you for causing an accident.

I realize this is a screwy system compared to the other type of screwy system in the U.S., but I think that without it, there would be a lot more accidents here.

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Founder Aug. 20, 2010 @ 5:49 p.m.

Reply #8 RFG, It makes perfect sense and you are right it probably is just as effective and cost much less to enforce.

hat said, I wonder what Country has the lowest rate of alcohol related driving problems and I would guess that it would be one with a highly educated population because they would be smart enough to not drive after they have been drinking!

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Robert Johnston Aug. 20, 2010 @ 6:38 p.m.

Be thankful you are not in Bulgaria!

According to a book I read, Bulgaria's DWI laws are the most Draconian of all. Prison for the first offense, the firing squad for the second.

A probable Bulgarian PSA would read: "Drinking and Driving--Do too many shots...you will get shot!"

--LPR

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Founder Aug. 21, 2010 @ 5:38 p.m.

Here is how it's done in China: On August 15, 2009 the Public Security Ministry started the nationwide campaign of "harsh punishment for driving after drinking behavior and preventing serious traffic accidents". Drivers who are found to have been drinking will have their driver's license suspended for three months.

Drunk drivers will receive 15 days in jail and have their driver's license suspended for six months.

Drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving twice in a year will have their license annulled, and will not be allowed to apply again for two years.

According to the vice minister of the Public Security Ministry Liu Jinguo, when it comes to the drinking driving issue, "no matter who they are, or what kind of excuses they have, they will be punished equally and severely. There will be no exception, no pardon. Drunk driving will become a high voltage power line that nobody dares to touch."

http://www.danwei.org/front_page_of_the_day/harsh_punishment_changes_peoples_driving_habit.php

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escortalex Aug. 23, 2010 @ 4:15 p.m.

"...they would be smart enough to not drive after they have been drinking!" Gringo, let's examine your statement. The most educated person in the world isn't as capable of making good decisions after as little as one drink. Founder got it almost right: "As long as the person drinking is the person deciding if they are being responsible, there will be accidents and fatalities." If he had said "crashes" instead of "accidents," he would have been 100% correct. If you pick up a pistol, point it at your head, and pull the trigger, it's kind of silly to say "But I didn't MEAN to shoot myself!" There's no such thing as a DUI accident. Crashing your car is a logical outcome of drinking; at some point, alcohol consumption renders everyone incapable of operating a motor vehicle. Leaving it up to the drinker to decide what that point is...well, that's beyond silly. Any fifth-grader can fill in the blank: "Don't drink and __." Hmm..but the alcohol industry says "Drink responsibly." Gosh, what a great message from the folks who earn their living by selling you "one for the road."

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David Dodd Aug. 23, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m.

"Gringo, let's examine your statement. The most educated person in the world isn't as capable of making good decisions after as little as one drink."

Agreed, Alex. Of course, that doesn't stop even the most educated person in the world from driving after a cocktail or two. Myself, I don't own a vehicle, so I plead entirely innocent on all charges :)

Ideally, whenever people decide to go have a drink, they will all use public transportation. I know that isn't always going to happen, but I will always wish for it.

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nan shartel Aug. 23, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

the drunk driving penalties in the state of Oregon are as follows

Oregon Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

First Oregon DUI Offense

1st Drunk Driving Conviction DUII Diversion Program Possible Jail – 48 Hours Minimum up to 1 Year, or Community Service – 80 Hours Fine - $1,000 Minimum *Fine - $2,000 Minimum (BAC .15 or Above) Fine – Up to $10,000 (If Child under 18 in Vehicle and was 3 Years Younger than Driver) Various DUII Fees – $300 Minimum License Suspension – 1 Year Ignition Interlock Device – For 1 Year after Suspension Complete Drug / Alcohol Treatment Program Participation in Victim-Impact Panel Program Required

Second Oregon DUI Offense

2nd Drunk Driving Conviction Jail – Up to 1 Year Fine - $1,500 Minimum *Fine - $2,000 Minimum (BAC .15 or Above)
Fine – Up to $10,000 (If Child under 18 in Vehicle and was 3 Years Younger Than Driver) Various DUII Fees – $300 Minimum License Suspension – 3 Years (If Within 5 Years of Previous) Ignition Interlock Device – For 2 Years after Suspension Complete Drug / Alcohol Treatment Program Participation in Victim-Impact Panel Program Required

Third Oregon DUI Offense

3rd Drunk Driving Conviction Class “C” Felony Offense (If Other Offenses within Last 10 Years) Jail – Up to 5 Years Fine - $2,000 Minimum Fine – Up to $10,000 (If Child under 18 in Vehicle and was 3 Years Younger Than Driver) Various DUII Fees – $300 Minimum License Suspension – Permanent Revocation Ignition Interlock Device – For 3 Years after Suspension Complete Drug / Alcohol Treatment Program Participation in Victim-Impact Panel Program Required

Oregon is a state that takes drunk driving VERY seriously

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Founder Aug. 23, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

Reply #12 I stand corrected "Crashes" is a better word choice,!

I'd suggest that to the Chinese Gov't. but on second thought it probably was an "accident" in translation!

Be Safe

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nan shartel Aug. 24, 2010 @ 9:03 a.m.

very strict in Texas crystalcove....one wonder how the DUI situation is still out of control...

perhap the fact that MADD started in Texas has something to do with the strictness

maybe it's all those drinking idiots who drive drunk whether they have a license or not that keep the drunk driving ball rolling

what do u think of the stations that r going to be set up August 20TH to randomly check for drunk drivers...do u think it will help decrease drinking and driving...or just teach drinkers to find a new route to go wherever their headed 2

in the small Oregon town i lived in the police sat outside the bars and breathalysed anyone coming out who looked wobbly

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Founder Aug. 24, 2010 @ 11:27 a.m.

Reply #18 Perhaps the City and State ABC could fine any Restaurants,Clubs and or Bars that were identified as over serving by testing those patrons as they leave; that would encourage Owners to watch out for their Patrons instead of their bottom line!

Random inspectors would insure compliance while making more in fines than their salary package AKA Parking Meter enforcement workers... Since the equipment is almost foolproof, local area volunteers could "help out" to insure all their local establishments followed the rules...

I can see the signage now:

           Blow On This,

Let's see if you are in big trouble and or going to jail...

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Founder Aug. 25, 2010 @ 1:44 p.m.

Reply #20 As you mention, all the easy answers are usually not workable for some reason or another!

Imagine what folks would say if there was a requirement for "testing" before dispensing a drink...

Cheers, er, ah, Server, another (hic) tall one of these...

Whata-mean I can't have another drink? Why is that, who cares (hic) what the stupid machine says, I not driving right now (hic) and if I want to get Drunk (hic) and pay for it, then that's my Right, Right, RIGHT (hic)...

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nan shartel Aug. 25, 2010 @ 1:50 p.m.

agreed Crystalcove...the little town i speak of was a one horse and one bar town

and there was an onerous on the establishment to not over serve Founder

that could be very difficult to manage in larger areas

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jeff dey Sept. 1, 2010 @ 11 a.m.

Who cares what they do else where. As long as they don't follow the misguided path of Escondido; (using a checkpoint as a revenue earning point) I am all for sobriety on the roads. Trouble is, there is a much larger agenda on the cops minds at a checkpoint.

I learned early on just how devious the cops can be, so I pretty much drive like a little old lady. I drive in FEAR of the cops stopping me an "jacking" me for what they can, as they have done to me a few times over the years, and I would wager that it's happened to many of you too.

Towing companies and their "henchmen"(the cops), remind me so much of the Sheriff of Naughtingham; taxing the citizens of Sherwood Forest. I've lost thousands on "technical violations" that were fabricated. That is , it seems to me, the stratagy behind these checkpoints, under the guise of making our streets safe from drunk drivers. In my opinion, the stops should be about that and that only, with no lateral questioning unless there is an arrest for DUI.

If that fantasy were ever to come true, then I would be outspoken in favor of DUI checkpoints often.

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