DUI crackdown launched for holiday weekend

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SAN DIEGO — Police and other public safety officials Thursday launched a countywide effort to prevent alcohol-related deaths and injuries and to curb underage drinking over the Independence Day weekend.

DUI CrackdownThe four-day effort, dubbed “Operation Safeguard,” will include sobriety checkpoints, roving DUI patrols and stepped-up enforcement of social- host laws, which hold homeowners accountable for underage drinking at house parties, authorities said.

The Fourth of July holiday typically ushers in a spike in drunken driving and other alcohol-related problems, according to police.

In the three days around and including Independence Day from 2008 to 2012, 54 alcohol-related deaths were reported in the San Diego area. Of those, 15 involved drunken driving and 21 were related to falls, alcohol poisoning or accidental overdoses of a mix of alcohol and drugs, officials said.

Underage drinking also increases during the summer, according to law enforcement officials, who said they plan to aggressively enforce laws that make it a crime to host parties where underage drinking takes place.