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."