The Santa Ana Police Department and the California Highway Patrol began the Christmas season this weekend with the first in a series of sobriety checkpoints designed to make holiday revelers think twice about drinking and driving.
Santa Ana police opened their first checkpoint of the season Friday night at McFadden and Standard avenues, Police Sgt. Bob Clark said.
That checkpoint resulted in 28 arrests and confiscation of 46 vehicles, Clark said. He could not explain the discrepancy between the number of cars confiscated and the number of suspected drunk drivers arrested.
Clark said the city’s first sobriety checkpoint of the holiday season was welcomed by local businesses and residents, who watched the checkpoints from nearby stores and sidewalks.
“The crowds at the scene were very supportive of the checkpoint,” Clark said.
Another Santa Ana checkpoint was set up in Santa Ana at 7 p.m. Saturday in the 1600 block of West 1st Street.
In South County, the California Highway Patrol set up a checkpoint Saturday night at El Toro and Jeronimo roads in El Toro.
CHP officer Ken Daily said he hopes that knowledge of the checkpoints will prompt a decrease in drinking and driving. “The message is, if they’re going to a party, they should make alternative travel plans,” he said.
No information was available late Saturday on the number of cars stopped or the number of drivers arrested at the El Toro and 1st Street checkpoints.