DUI checkpoints planned around county for weekend and holiday

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The Escondido Police Department announce it will conduct a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint over the weekend, the first in a slew of operations across the county aimed at curbing drunk driving around the Fourth of July holiday.

The EPD Traffic Unit will operate its checkpoint Friday at an undisclosed location that will be chosen based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, Lt. Mike Kearney said.

“Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized, proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely,” Kearney said.

In April, a checkpoint in Escondido netted one arrest for drunken driving and resulted in four citations for drivers operating vehicles with suspended licenses.

The Escondido checkpoint will be the first in a number of law enforcement actions aimed at keeping San Diego roadways safe during the holiday weekend. Beginning Saturday, law enforcement agencies across the county will launch a four-day effort to prevent alcohol-related deaths and injuries and underage drinking.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which city and county law enforcement leaders will launch today with a news conference near Mission Bay, will include roving DUI patrols and stepped up enforcement of house party laws.

“This Fourth of July, as friends and family travel to picnics and barbecues across the country, the San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies, the California Highway Patrol (and) all other law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County will be out stopping impaired drivers by targeting those who put lives in danger,” SDPD officer Mark McCullough said. “As you prepare to drive home from the festivities, keep in mind that impairment by alcohol or drugs can be deadly.”

The Escondido checkpoint is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.