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December 30, 2009 (San Diego) – Sheriff Bill Gore announced that a holiday crackdown on drinking in the first 13 days of the “AVOID” campaign (Dec. 16-29) has resulted in  605 individuals into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, up from last year’s 363 DUI (driving under the influence) bookings during the first weekend of the winter holiday.

Law enforcement officials will be conducting more anti-DUI efforts in the following communities:

Local DUI Saturation Patrols will be deployed on New Year’s Eve in San Marcos, Escondido, Vista, Poway, Santee, Lemon Grove, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, National City, Chula Vista, Encinitas and La Mesa. A DUI Checkpoint is planned New Years Eve in San Diego.

All CHP Areas throughout the state will have increased staffing during the New Year weekend.

Avoid programs, named for the number of police agencies in each county, also concentrate on the Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends as well as the 18-Day August/Labor Day period. DUI Statistics show that the year end holiday period is among the deadliest season of the year, law enforcement agencies throughout the county will be making every effort to arrest drunk drivers before another life is lost.

“Over the limit, under arrest” policies are in effect all around the state. Authorities warn that if you choose to drink and drive this holiday season, expect to spend the night behind bars. Your local police, Sheriff and the CHP encourage all motorists to help make your community safer by reporting drunk drivers – Call 9-1-1.If you plan to drink, authorities urge that you bring a designated driver or arrange alternative transportation, including free bus and trolley service after 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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