New Year's DUI crackdowns begin, SDPD officer injured by suspected drunk in Santee

Law enforcement was out across the county over the weekend, getting an early start on massive DUI enforcement efforts leading up to New Year’s Eve, but their efforts didn’t stop a potentially drunk driver from seriously injuring one of their own on Sunday.

Around 2:30 Sunday morning, San Diego Sheriff’s deputies responded to a serious injury collision at Mission Gorge Road and the terminus of northbound SR-125 in Santee. At the scene deputies discovered a pickup truck had left the freeway and struck the driver’s side of a San Diego Police cruiser at a high rate of speed. The officer driving the car was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The adult male driving the pickup was not seriously injured, and admitted to having consumed alcohol prior to the incident. After being transported to the hospital for evaluation he was booked into jail for suspected felony driving under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, various agencies were conducting “DUI/driver’s license” checkpoints in Poway and Imperial Beach, delaying a total of 3,652 drivers. Of those, 65 were detained for secondary inspection, resulting in 15 citations to unlicensed drivers and one DUI arrest.

In Chula Vista, officers beefed up enforcement by conducting a “saturation patrol,” with extra units on the streets instead of at checkpoints looking for signs of impaired drivers. Units participating in the patrols conducted 114 traffic stops, resulting in four DUI arrests and a fifth for driving under the influence of drugs.

Similar actions around the Qualcomm Stadium area following yesterday's Chargers-Raiders game resulted in another 112 stops and 4 DUI arrests.

Continued heavy enforcement efforts aimed at curbing drunk driving will continue tonight and into tomorrow.

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Comments

Dave, what the heck is a "potentially drunk driver?" Is that a driver who's on his/her way out to a bar/friend's house/store/restaurant/club to go on a bender? I think you meant that, as the headline read, the driver suspected of driving under the influence.

In Chula Vista, officers beefed up enforcement by conducting a “saturation patrol,” with extra units on the streets instead of at checkpoints looking for signs of impaired drivers. Units participating in the patrols conducted 114 traffic stops, resulting in four DUI arrests and a fifth for driving under the influence of drugs.

This is a much bvetter idea and use of scarce resources.

Every year, without exception, the cops announce a DUI crackdown for "the holidays" with special emphasis on New Year's Eve. Are those efforts for real? Or is it just what the public wants to hear, and hence what the law enforcement agencies proclaim?

1 DUI arrest out of 3600 cars. Sounds like a great use of resources.

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