From Friday night to Halloween morning, San Diego-area police departments held a pair of DUI checkpoints that led to four arrests and 14 citations.
San Diego Police set up one checkpoint in the 600 block of East San Ysidro Boulevard from 11 p.m. on Friday evening to 3:15 a.m. on Saturday morning. About 300 cars passed through the checkpoint, with 230 of the motorists screened by officers, according to Officer Mark McCullough. Officers detained three drivers for further evaluations of sobriety and four people were arrested for driving intoxicated at or near the checkpoint.
“The message is simple, drive sober or get pulled over,” McCullough said. “Drinking alcohol and driving do not mix. If you plan to consume alcohol, you should also plan not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride a motorcycle.”
The checkpoint was funded by a STEP grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
A second checkpoint held from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the 800 block of Mission Avenue and the 4000 block of Plaza Drive in Oceanside netted 14 citations but no DUI arrests. Ticketed motorists were found to be driving on suspended licenses or to be unlicensed drivers.
Officers screened a total of 361 drivers, and administered four sobriety tests. The SDPD advises people who choose to go out on Halloween to make a transportation plan for how they will arrive at the event and leave safely. Some of their suggestions include designating a sober driver, using public transportation, or calling a sober family member or friend for help. Ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also safer alternatives to drunk driving.
According to in an infographic by the Safe Kids Worldwide organization, child pedestrians are at high risk for being hit by drivers, with twice as many children being killed in car crashes compared to other days of the year. The site advises adults to drive slowly and cautiously on this holiday.
Some extra precautions that parents may take, recommended by Safe Kids Worldwide, is to place reflective tape on their children’s Halloween costumes (to make them more visible to cars) as well as providing adult supervision for groups of trick-or treating kids.
McCullough said the SDPD will have extra officers stationed around the city to employ DUI saturation patrol for Halloween weekend, focusing on areas where there are bars near residential neighborhoods. McCullough said more officers will be on patrol in North Park and Pacific Beach as well as other party hotspots.
A first-offense DUI can cost around $16,000 for legal fees, time off from work, time spent in jail and other costs, according to McCullough.
City News Service contributed to this article.
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