Final Tally in For Holiday DUI Checkpoints

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In the weeks leading up to and including New Year's Day, Navel Gazing carried several posts warning of DUI checkpoints set up all over Orange County. The multi-agency 2009 Winter Holiday Mobilization operation, which was made possible through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ran from midnight Dec. 18 through midnight Jan. 3.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department has counted the numbers . . .

Culled from the sobriety checkpoints, special saturation patrols and good, old-fashioned routine patrols, the final tally shows officers representing 38 county law enforcement agencies arrested 602 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

There were 412 arrests during the 2008 Winter Holiday DUI Mobilization period.

There were 30 DUI-related traffic accidents with injuries over the latest holiday season. Fortunately, no DUI-related deaths were reported in Orange County. There were three DUI-related fatalities here during the '08 holidays.

Preliminary numbers for all of '08 in Orange County show that 46 people died and 2,160 people were injured in DUI related accidents.

Calling their campaign "Avoid the 38" (as in the 38 law enforcement agencies plying the mean streets and harbors of Orange County), officials promise more anti-DUI efforts throughout the county and region during Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo, before they shift into summer campaign mode.

Consider yourselves warned again.

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