A new DUI awareness campaign was launched in San Diego right before the Thanksgiving holiday. The launch, titled “RADD-OTS SD Hospitality DUI Task Force”, was put together by the entertainment industry’s leader in road safety, RADD, as well as the California Office of Traffic Safety, OTS. Both RADD and the OTS announced their team up during a holiday media event in the Gaslamp Quarter at famous restaurant Dick’s Last Resort, encouraging San Diegans to plan ahead before celebrating the holidays by designating a driver or calling a cab. The DUI task force has partnered up with local government, law enforcement, the military, area colleges, and road safety experts, in a commitment to reduce the number of DUIs and enhance public safety. In doing so, the task force is promoting responsible beverage service, alternate transportation options, designated drivers, and is focused on providing more overnight parking options. Deputy Administrator of the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Bill Kootsikas, cited a troubling 4.6 percent national increase for alcohol-related deaths and a 3.6 percent increase in California, in the past year alone. The new alliance between OTS and RADD however, has successfully designed immediate DUI prevention strategies in the region and many officials, including OTS Assistant Director of Operations David Doucette and President of RADD International Erin Meluso, are praising the task force for its powerful influence. Meluso, who lead RADD’s “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” campaign, encouraged San Diegans to pledge, ‘from now on, I won’t let my friends drive drunk.’
San Diego’s Supervising Agent in Charge for The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Jennifer Hill, has stressed the need for San Diegans to start taking responsibility, including for Licensees to practice responsible alcohol service, ID checks, and employee training on the issue. She also suggested that families should make it a priority to communicate with one another and with friends on how to make responsible choices regarding withholding from driving while drinking. Overall, the holiday task force is being commended with high praise for its aggressive approach to road safety. Law enforcement will be conducting many traffic checkpoints and DUI patrols, starting Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Eve, all throughout San Diego and San Diego County. Even other non-law enforcement agencies are making an effort to support the task force, including the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Gaslamp Quarter Association, North Park Main Street, and Discover Pacific Beach. The SDMTS has added several new transportation options people can choose over driving, those being expanded taxicab service and extended trolley and bus service hours to accommodate late night partiers. As a criminal defense legal team, we have years of experience dealing with DUI violations. Our advice to everyone planning to celebrate the Holidays with alcoholic beverages this year is to take advantage of the preventative measures being offered, and make prior arrangements before heading out. However, if you or a loved one do in fact find yourselves facing DUI charges, hiring an experienced legal team to handle your case is absolutely essential to achieve favorable results and lessen the consequences DUI citations pose.
Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season!
“San Diego: DUI Team Up”– Fort Mill Times, November 27, 2013