The Coast News Group

Law enforcement working to keep impaired drivers off the road over Labor Day weekend

REGION — Law enforcement agencies across the state will be implementing extra measures to keep impaired drivers off the road over the Labor Day weekend. Focused efforts to increase safety will be in effect through Sept. 4.

“The long weekend is celebrated through picnics, pool parties and barbecues as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer,” Oceanside Police Sgt. Rick Davis said. “Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways.”

Preventative measures that will be executed statewide include high law enforcement visibility, DUI saturation patrols and pulling over all drivers who might be impaired.

Oceanside Police will conduct DUI and driver’s license checkpoints on Sept. 1 in areas with high frequencies of DUIs, collisions and arrests. Officers will also closely monitor the roads for signs of alcohol- or drug-impaired driving to curtail the increase in crashes caused by use of alcohol, prescription drugs and marijuana.

“These extra officers on the road, along with routine patrols, are aimed to drastically reduce impaired driving in our community’s roadways,” Davis said.

Oceanside Police also encourage people to following common sense practices to keep the holiday safe.

“Plan your sober ride home before the party begins,” Davis said. “It is never OK to drive impaired. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.”

The Designated Driver VIP app rewards designating a sober driver with incentives from bars and restaurants. Perks include free nonalcoholic drinks and appetizers.

Police also ask that friends encourage those who have been drinking to return home safely.

“Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely,” Davis said. “The cost of a ride home is cheap.”

People can also report a suspected drunk driver by calling 9-1-1.

Drivers arrested for a DUI stand to face jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and license suspensions. Fines and fees can quickly exceed $10,000.

Nationwide drunk driving fatalities are increasing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents in 2015, which is a 3 percent increase in deaths from 2014.

“This is why Oceanside PD is working to remind drivers that impaired driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death,” Davis said.

Oceanside DUI prevention efforts are funded by a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration California Office of Traffic Safety grant.