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Newport police arrest 12 on DUI suspicion

The Memorial Day holiday weekend kicked off a summertime crackdown on drunk driving in Orange County with Newport Beach police arresting a dozen motorists for suspected DUI.

Eight of the 12 DUI arrests were made Saturday, one was made Friday, one Sunday, and two more were made Monday, according to Newport Beach Police Sgt. Steve Burdette.

Officers were instructed to “show a presence near the local bars to discourage DUIs,” Burdette said in an e-mail.

However, no one specific area was targeted, he said.


On Monday in Costa Mesa, police officers arrested three people for suspected drunk driving during DUI saturation patrols. Officers made 60 traffic stops and gave nine drivers field sobriety tests, according to a Costa Mesa Police Department news release.

Other Orange County cities’ police departments mounted DUI/driver’s license checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols over the weekend in preparation for the summer months, which are typically characterized by an increase in drunk driving, according to a news release issued last week by Newport Beach police.

“The Memorial Day weekend is witness to the kickoff of summertime recreation and holiday travel, along with many college and high school graduations seeing thousands celebrate their accomplishments,” the release said. “The next 100 days will also see a rise in deaths and injuries as far too many individuals get behind the wheel impaired.”

On Tuesday, Irvine police announced that Ashton Sweet, a 14-year-old Irvine resident, died of her injuries sustained in a suspected drunk driving-related crash in that city early Sunday morning. Austin Farley, 26, of Irvine, was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk and causing the deadly collision.