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Christmas weekend DUI arrests up from last year

SAN DIEGO — A triple-fatality Christmas Day crash accounted for all the roadway deaths that occurred in the San Diego area over the just-ended holiday weekend, authorities reported Tuesday.

The fiery wreck took place shortly before 5:30 p.m. Monday on the southbound side of the freeway, near state Route 76 in Oceanside, according to the California Highway Patrol. The three resulting deaths matched the number of local fatalities that occurred over the long Christmas weekend last year.

Between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Monday, CHP officers arrested 56 motorists on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in San Diego County — 15 more than during the comparable period in 2016.

Statewide, vehicle crashes claimed 27 lives over the last three days, nine fewer than last year, and 917 drivers were jailed for allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as compared with 621 during Christmas weekend in 2016, the state agency reported.