Law enforcement to crack down on inebriated drivers

Holiday revelers beware: A regionwide seasonal crackdown on tipsy, drunken and drugged driving kicks into gear Friday.

From Friday night through Jan. 3, law enforcement agencies across the San Diego area and throughout California plan to run frequent sobriety checkpoints to keep the streets as safe as possible amid end-of-year festivities, according to the state Office of Traffic Safety.

“DUI checkpoints are time-tested and proven as the most effective DUI countermeasure, and I’m gratified that we’re seeing the life-saving results,” said OTS Director Christopher Murphy.

The stepped-up enforcement, which will include extra patrols to nab inebriated motorists, is funded by state grants to individual law enforcement agencies.

For its part, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will have a special priority in its anti-DUI strategies: impaired driving among teenagers, a problem that has played a role in a spate of traffic fatalities over the last several months.

“The recent deaths involving teens drinking and driving were entirely preventable,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “By enhancing patrols, working with our law enforcement partners and focusing on teen drivers, we hope to be an active partner in reducing accidents, preventing deaths and educating parents.”

The effort will include extra patrols, curfew checks and a “zero tolerance” stance regarding such unsafe driving practices as speeding and texting or using cell phones behind the wheel.

“We wanted to send a clear, definitive message to parents and teens this holiday season and beyond — when you knowingly violate the law, there are consequences,” the sheriff said. “We are looking for you.”