Police make a push against drunk driving: DUI checkpoint this weekend

Laguna Beach police are stepping up enforcement this month against driving under the influence, according to a news release.

Officers will hold a DUI checkpoint from 8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday.

In another effort to curb drunk driving, officers at 6 p.m. Aug. 29 will visit downtown restaurants and bars, talking to patrons regarding legal blood alcohol levels.

The initiatives are part of an 18-day campaign in partnership with the state Office of Traffic Safety called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" that runs through Sept. 7.

California accounted for 867 of the 10,076 fatal crashes nationwide related to drunk driving in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Thirty-eight percent of the state's crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.

Of the state's Labor Day fatalities, more than 27% involved drivers with blood alcohol levels of .15% or higher.

Law enforcement said planning ahead and designating sober drivers can prevent drunk driving.

The state Office of Traffic Safety recently launched a mobile app called Designated Driver VIP that allows inebriated users to order rides from companies such as Uber and Lyft from one screen.

Police also remind people that combining alcohol with medications can lead to negative consequences and said that recent statistics show that 30% of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their system, the release says.

Funding for the campaign is provided by an Office of Traffic Safety grant.

— Bryce Alderton

Twitter: @AldertonBryce