Police cracking down on drunk driving this New Year's - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Police cracking down on drunk driving this New Year's

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - This past holiday weekend saw a number of DUI related crashes and arrests in San Diego County. As a result, law enforcement is calling on the public to help them get dangerous drivers off the road. 

"It’s the holiday season. We want everyone to make sure they go home safe at the end of the night," said CHP Officer Tony Contreras.

Fatalities and DUI arrests made in San Diego were down this year over the Christmas weekend compared with last year's statistics. 

Statewide, the number of arrests and fatalities were also significantly lower following Christmas.

From Christmas Eve at 6:01 p.m. to Sunday just before midnight, there were 42 arrests made on suspicion of DUI in San Diego County, compared to 62 in 2014, according to the CHP. There were four fatalities during car collisions in San Diego County this year, five fewer than the same time frame last year.

Law enforcement officials say that about one third of all fatal crashes in San Diego County involve drugs or alcohol. Police are encouraging drivers to get more involved in helping to prevent drunk driving accidents by reporting suspected drunk drivers on the road. Police say it's not illegal to call 911 while driving to report an emergency. 

"Maintain your distance first and foremost. Make sure you're able to call 911 safely. Make sure to tell us the location and the vehicle descriptions so we can get in position because we're going to be out there looking for DUI drivers all over San Diego County," said  CHP Officer Contreras. "If you do see a vehicle weaving within the lane, driving erratically, driving at a high rate of speed and you believe that driver is under the influence, call 911. We understand we can't be everywhere every time, but with the assistance of the public, we can save a life. You can save a life.”

Across the state, 700 arrests were made on suspicion of DUI, compared to 997 in 2014. This year there were 35 fatalities over the holiday weekend, compared to 42 in 2014, according to the CHP.

Arrest numbers for suspicion of drunken driving were only those made by CHP officers. Fatalities reported were from all law enforcement agencies.

The CHP investigates all crashes on freeways and all roads in unincorporated areas.   

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department says it added additional DUI checkpoints this month citing community concern for DUI. With New Year's being the second busiest weekend for drunk driving accidents, police are asking to plan ahead to enjoy the new year. 

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