DUI crackdown targets St. Patrick's Day revelers - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

DUI crackdown targets St. Patrick's Day revelers

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Authorities are stepping up enforcement this holiday weekend to keep our roadways safe.

A number of DUI checkpoints are being conducted throughout the county.

As San Diego's St. Patrick's Day parade wowed the crowds Saturday morning plenty of revelers there began their celebrations even earlier.

And while Guinness and other libations are part of the St. Patrick's Day party tradition, those who overindulge are being warned not to drink and drive.

Last year, over the St. Patrick's holiday, local authorities took nearly a dozen drivers suspected of DUI into custody.

"The reality is, once you sober up you're going to be in a drunk tank in jail, and you're going to be looking at a lot of bad things happening to you," said local attorney Ross Jurewitz.

Jurewitz is a local attorney who represents victims injured in DUI-related accidents.

"For a first offense, you're looking at a $1000 fine, three to five years probation... A DUI lawyer ranges from $5000 on up," said Jurewitz.

Case in point, Friday morning's horrific chain-reaction crash along I-805 near University Avenue, sent one man to the hospital in critical condition, and created several other collisions.

According to the CHP, a suspected drunk driver, 22-year-old Donald Clark, who was later arrested, smashed into a Caltrans sign along northbound I-805 sending debris flying over the divide into the southbound lanes and causing the multiple crashes.

"He's going to be looking at possibly a felony DUI criminally," said Jurewitz.

And that driver could possibly face civil lawsuits as well, if he is ultimately found guilty.

A sobering reminder that some St. Patrick's partiers apparently do not need.

"None of us are driving -- we are walking everywhere -- so we're all responsible!"

The DUI crackdown has already begun, overnight, checkpoints throughout the county netted at least 15 suspected drunk drivers who were arrested and booked into jail, including five in Oceanside and eight in Mission Bay.

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