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Police targeting alcohol-related crimes in the San Diego area

The California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies recently began their "Operation Safeguard" campaign on Wednesday with a high-profile, public gathering of police officers at San Diego's Bonita Cove. Operation Safeguard will run throughout the Independence Day holiday and following long weekend, and will target two main types of alcohol-related crimes: drinking and driving, and violations of "social host" laws that hold party-throwers liable for underage drinking happening on their property.

In addition to extra traffic patrols looking for tell-tale signs that might indicate alcohol intoxication like weaving in and out of the lane, weaving within a single lane, leaving turn signals or lights on when no longer needed, driving markedly faster or slower than surrounding traffic or making exaggerated, wide turns, there could also be pop-up DUI/DWI checkpoints that also aim to get drunk drivers of all ages off the road. The stakes are high for underage drinkers caught behind the wheel, since any level of alcohol intoxication will likely result in both underage drinking and underage drinking and driving charges.

San Diego is not alone in its push to curb July 4th alcohol crimes, particularly those involving drinking and driving, mainly due to the fact that the holiday has traditionally been one of the deadliest days on American roads. Operation Safeguard aims to keep some of those drinkers off the road by also enforcing California's "social host" statutes that aim to punish both juveniles drinking alcohol illegally and the adults who either provided them with alcohol or insufficiently supervised a gathering where alcohol was served.

Source: CBS 8 (San Diego), "'Operation Safeguard' targets impaired holiday driving," Jeff Zevely, July 2, 2013.

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