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DUI checkpoints planned across San Diego County during Labor Day weekend

Law enforcement agencies across San Diego County will be ramping up patrols and checkpoints to look for impaired drivers over the Labor Day weekend.

Chula Vista and La Mesa police have DUI checkpoints planned, as does the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The California Highway Patrol will also be focused on “removing impaired drivers from the road” with a “maximum enforcement period” that began at 6 p.m. Friday and will run until the end of Monday’s Labor Day holiday.

And Carlsbad police officers will be out at the city’s bars and restaurants between noon and 10 p.m. Saturday to participate in a “know your limit” educational campaign.

As part of the campaign, officers will invite bar patrons and diners to take a breathalyzer test and try to guess their blood alcohol content.

“The goal is to help people understand the effects of alcohol so they can make educated decisions about how they get home after drinking,” Carlsbad traffic Lt. Steve Thomas said in a news release. “It takes relatively little alcohol to impair a driver.”

The agencies said they’ll also be on the lookout for those driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs and marijuana.

The Sheriff’s Department’s Imperial Beach substation conducted a DUI checkpoint beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Palm Avenue and 9th Street. It was expected to last until 2 a.m. Saturday.

Around 9:45 Friday night, the driver of a white Mercedes-Benz failed to stop at the checkpoint and sped away from deputies who gave chase, sheriff’s Lt. Chris Lawrence said. Footage from OnScene TV showed the car crashed into several parked vehicles about a block away, on 9th Street near Calla Avenue.

The driver of the white car fled a DUI checkpoint Friday night in Imperial Beach and crashed into several parked vehicles

Sheriff’s officials said the driver of the white Mercedes-Benz fled from a DUI checkpoint Friday night in Imperial Beach and crashed into several parked vehicles before abandoning the car and fleeing.

(OnScene TV)

The driver abandoned his car and ran away, Lawrence said. He continued to evade deputies as of 11:45 p.m.

The Sheriff’s Department said that, like the CHP, its deputies would be on increased alert between Friday and Monday for potentially impaired drivers throughout the county.

“Labor Day weekend may be the unofficial end of summer, but that’s no excuse to drive impaired,” Sheriff Bill Gore said in a news release. “Do the responsible thing: don’t drink and drive.”

The department reported that its deputies arrested 89 people on suspicion of DUI during Labor Day weekend 2020.

La Mesa police will be setting up a DUI checkpoint from 8 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

In Chula Vista, the DUI checkpoint will be set up from 6 p.m. Saturday until the end of the night in an undisclosed location, according to Officer Oscar Miranda.