SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Checkpoints are scheduled to be set up around San Diego County this weekend and again on New Year's Eve to catch suspected drunken drivers.
Police officers in El Cajon scheduled a checkpoint from about 6 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday in an effort to reduce the number of people injured or killed in alcohol- or drug-related crashes and to ensure drivers had valid licenses, according to Monica Zech, the city's public information officer.
Among the checkpoint's components were to increase awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage the use of sober designated drivers. By publicizing the enforcement and education efforts, police believe motorists could be deterred from drunken or drugged driving, Zech said.
The Escondido Police Department will also conduct a checkpoint Friday, Lt. Tom Albergo said.
According to Albergo, seven people were killed and 234 were injured in drunken driving crashes in Escondido over the past three years.
"DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed since 2006 in California," Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety, said. "But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one-third of traffic fatalities, Escondido needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that checkpoints provide."
The San Diego Police Department's Traffic Unit planned checkpoints from 9 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 a.m. Sunday, and again starting at 9 p.m. Monday at undisclosed locations within the city, according to San Diego police Officer Mark McCullough.
Officers would contact drivers to check for signs of alcohol or drug impairment and when possible, specially trained officers would evaluate those suspected of drugged driving, the officer said.
"Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 60 lives and resulted in 2,518 injury crashes harming 4,992 of our friends and neighbors," McCullough said, adding checkpoints' deterrent effect was a proven resource in reducing the number of people injured or killed in alcohol- or drug-related crashes.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a joint-use park at McKinley Elementary.
A vote is expected Tuesday as the Del Mar Fair Board considers transforming the Surf Side Race Place into a new indoor entertainment venue.
The San Diego City Council Tuesday formally approved a $225,000 settlement in litigation brought by a deputy city attorney, who alleged sexual harassment by her former supervisor.
The Gate Fire, which has burned about 2,056 acres northwest of Dulzura, was 95 percent contained Monday. Cal Fire also reported that all evacuation orders and warnings were lifted in the fire area.
The Gate Fire northwest of Dulzura has been fully contained. Cal Fire says its crews will remain on scene Tuesday mopping up and guarding against flareups.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) has voted to lay off its enforcement officers that patrol local train and bus stations.
It'll be mostly sunny in the majority of San Diego County Tuesday, once the morning clouds and fog clear.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) has settled a high-profile lawsuit with a former employee for nearly $100,000.