San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman speaks at Thursday press conference. Photo by Chris Jennewein
San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman speaks at Thursday’s press conference about the DUI crackdown. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Seven law enforcement agencies warned San Diegans Thursday to be prepared for a major crackdown on drunk and drugged driving over the long July 4 holiday weekend.

“Do not drive impaired. If you do, we will catch you and put you in jail,” said Capt. Jim Ellis, San Diego area commander for the California Highway Patrol.

Ellis was joined by San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Assistant San Diego Sheriff Mike Barnett and officers from the Chula Vista, La Mesa, National City and Coronado police departments at the press conference announcing the crackdown.

From 6 p.m. Friday through Monday night, the agencies will be conducting saturation patrols and staffing DUI checkpoints throughout San Diego County to protect people from impaired drivers.

“We look at DUI enforcement as a life-saving mission,” said Barnett.

Zimmerman said that in 2015 there were nine DUI-related accidents and 27 arrests just within the the city limits. She said she hopes the saturation patrols will reduce that number this year.

“We will be conducting maximum DUI enforcement,” she said, warning impaired drivers that “you should expect to be caught.”

Cristi Walker of the San Diego affiliate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving reminded drivers to have a backup plan for getting home. “Have fun this weekend, but be smart and be safe,” she said.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.