San Diego law enforcement to crack down on impaired drivers for St. Patrick’s Day

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — San Diego law enforcement will be looking for drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day.

Two "Drager 5000" devices will debut in San Diego County during St. Patrick’s Day festivities at  yet-to-be disclosed locations. The sobriety-testing machines screen saliva samples for seven non-alcoholic intoxicating substances, including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs.

SDPD Officer Mark McCullough said that the Drager 5000’s will be put into regular rotation at screening operations like checkpoints and roving DUI saturation patrols.

Sheriff’s deputies plan to fan out around their various jurisdictions in San Diego County in search of drunken or drugged drivers between 6 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday. An overnight DUI checkpoint will also be held at an undisclosed location in Encinitas, according to sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen.

On St. Patrick’s Day 2016, sheriff’s deputies arrested six motorists on suspicion of DUI.

Starting at 5 p.m., El Cajon police officers will begin DUI saturation patrols “in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests” within city limits, according to ECPD Lt. Steve Kirk.

Kirk said specially trained officers would be available, when possible, to evaluate motorists suspected of drug-impaired driving, which contributes to a growing number of accidents.

The Chula Vista Police Department also plans to deploy additional officers this St. Patrick’s Day in areas with historically high numbers of DUI crashes and arrests.

Chula Vista police officials also advised drivers to watch out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink.

Categories: Local San Diego News