San Diego police officer administering BAC test to driverPolice authorities in California are coming down hard on intoxicated driving; and rightly so. The federal authorities ticked off the annual campaign against drunk driving in August 2010. The campaign is called: Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

Law enforcement officers will be out in full force in all major California cities conducting sobriety checkpoints and patrols in greater frequency. In fact, San Diego, California, according to one recent survey, had the most DUI arrests in the United States.

Thus, if you plan on traveling during any weekend, but especially during a holiday weekend, like Labor Day, you can expect to be pulled over for sobriety testing to see if you had anything to drink. It is part of law enforcement efforts to keep motorists in California safe over the weekends and major holidays. Below, our San Diego car accident lawyer explains more about drunk driving prevention programs in California.

The Dangers of Labor Day Holiday Weekend

The Labor Day holiday is the most dangerous in the American calendar, with, sadly, thousands of accidents being reported from across the country. Most of these accidents are linked to, not surprisingly, driving under the influence (DUI arrests).

In California, more than 450 agencies are taking part in the Avoid campaign. Across the country, more than 10,000 agencies are taking part in anti-drunk driving efforts conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, in several counties in California, motorists can expect larger numbers of law enforcement officers as part of the anti-drunk driving efforts for all upcoming major holiday weekends. The program has been very successful and this year, many counties are increasing the strength and concentration of officers solely dedicated to these efforts in preventing driving under the influence.

There is also more funding coming in this year from the California Office of Traffic Safety, and these funds will be used to keep drunk motorists off the streets to make California safer when it comes to driving under the influence. In California, law enforcement officers, including the California Highway Patrol and local police departments, will be out in full force this year and, more than likely, from this point forward.

Fines for drunk driving have also gone up in California and elsewhere; for example, if you get a DUI in San Diego, the first offense will cost you between $10,000.00 and $13,000.00 in fees, fines, and the rest when all is "said and done."

California Motorists Can Do A Lot To Stay Safe

Before you leave home, designate a sober driver who will be in charge of driving everyone home. Make sure this person stays sober too. If you are by yourself (not in a group), and are too intoxicated to drive home, call for a taxi. I would rather pay a $100.00 taxi cab fee than pay over $10,000.00 in fees and fines, not to mention putting someone else's life at risk for failing to take responsibility. If you do not call a taxi, then call for a sober friend or family member to pick you up from your location and take you home.

If you are out driving and see any intoxicated motorists, report it immediately to law enforcement. You might save a life. Look for signs like motorists driving recklessly, veering off lanes, weaving in and out of traffic, etc. In fact, I call the times from about 5 P.M. to 5 A.M. (especially on weekend nights) the "witching hour" and it really is not a safe time to be on the roads due to those who drink and drive.

You should be proactive and stay protected against the large numbers of intoxicated motorists who will be on the streets over the Labor Day weekend, other holiday weekends, and just weekends in general. You should always wear your seat belt at all times and get everyone in your car to buckle up too.

If you are out on a motorcycle, wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. In fact, if you are riding a motorcycle, avoid having even a single drink! Motorcycling requires specific motor (brain) functioning skills like retaining balance, and alcohol use can impair these abilities greatly.

Be a good friend, and look out for them - if you find a friend too intoxicated to drive, take away their car keys, and make arrangements to take them home. The life you save could be your own.

Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney
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