DUI checks on Fourth of July

SAN DIEGO – San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will be on the lookout for motorists who get behind the wheel while intoxicated on the Fourth of July.

Last year, the regional agency arrested eight people on suspicion of DUI on Independence Day. In 2017, deputies jailed five for alleged impaired driving during the patriotic holiday, sheriff’s officials reported.

So far this year, the department has arrested 647 people on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Deputies took 1,183 people into custody for alleged inebriated driving in 2018.

Last year, seven people were killed and 73 injured in alcohol-related vehicle crashes on the Fourth of July statewide, according to data from the California Highway Patrol.

“Impaired driving crashes are 100 percent preventable,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “One bad decision can change the rest of your life.”

Driving under the influence includes alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. The average cost of a DUI arrest is around $13,500, including vehicle impound fees, fines, attorney fees, auto insurance hikes, and other penalties, according to sheriff’s officials.

In addition to the increased driving-under-the-influence patrols on the Fourth of July itself, the multi-agency San Diego County DUI Task Force has announced plans to conduct heightened enforcement over the entire four-day holiday period, which many locals enjoy as an extended early-summer weekend.

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