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The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has been awarded a $300,000 grant via the California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in order to continue administering the countywide “Avoid the 15” campaign against drunk driving, which has 14 other law enforcement agencies listed as participants.

“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,” says Office of Traffic Safety director Christopher J. Murphy. Alcohol related traffic deaths have been declining in the state for the last 15 years overall.

According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department, “DUI/driver’s license” checkpoints will continue to be a major focus. “These highly visible, highly publicized events are meant to deter impaired driving, not to increase arrests,” the Department says. The Reader and other publications have examined past checkpoint results, noting a significant number of vehicle seizures and citations for offenses unrelated to drunk driving, compared with a relatively small DUI arrest count.

The Sheriff’s Department tells drivers to expect an ongoing emphasis on checkpoints during the winter and summer holidays as well as on Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and “during local special events with identified DUI problems.”

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