December can bring an increase in holiday parties and gatherings among friends in the Los Angeles area. But December also brings an increase in police patrols focused on drunk and drugged driving enforcement. Beefed-up enforcement of California’s laws prohibiting driving under the influence is underway all across California.

In Los Angeles County, law enforcement agencies have announced 32 DUI checkpoints during the December enforcement campaign that began last Friday and will run through the New Year’s holiday celebration. In addition to the significant number of sobriety checkpoints, LA area law enforcement agencies will be adding 202 roving DUI patrols in their efforts to seek out alleged drunk drivers.

Last year in LA County alone, 2,406 people were charged with DUI during the December enforcement campaign. The DUI enforcement campaign in LA County is similar to statewide law enforcement efforts. The California Highway Patrol will be conducting maximum DUI enforcement operations that operate separately from efforts in Los Angeles County.

The December enforcement campaign will focus on all areas of DUI enforcement. Officials say that most of the December DUI checkpoints in Los Angeles County will include drug recognition experts. California prosecutors often rely on the testimony of DREs in DUI cases involving allegations of drugged driving, including the alleged use of prescription medication DUI cases.

It is important to note that a DUI charge can carry significant direct and indirect consequences. Anyone charged with DUI in the Los Angeles area has the right to defend against the serious charges in court.

Source: Culver City Patch, “County to Launch Winter Anti-DUI Campaign,” Hazel Lodevico-To’o, Dec. 16, 2011