Local Law Enforcement Promise to Crack Down on Drunk Drivers During Super Bowl

DUI saturation patrols will be deployed throughout Riverside County.

Photo courtesy:  California Office of Traffic Safety
Photo courtesy: California Office of Traffic Safety

Super Bowl celebrants who drink and drive will be targeted in a law enforcement crackdown this weekend aimed at keeping drunk- and drug-impaired motorists off of Riverside County roads.

The county's Avoid the 30 task force -- named for the number of participating agencies -- is planning saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to snare inebriated drivers before, during and after the NFL championship game, according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator.

"Motorists can expect all police officers, sheriff's deputies and the California Highway Patrol to have a visible presence and to stop anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive," Showalter said.

Sunday's operations are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Football League's "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" campaign.

Showalter said anti-DUI saturation patrols are scheduled in a variety of locations, while sobriety checkpoints will be deployed in Riverside and San Jacinto.

Law enforcement officials offered the following tips to people planning to host Super Bowl parties:

  • Ensure guests have a designated driver or can arrange for ride-sharing;
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party;
  • Stop serving alcohol before the end of the game's third quarter; and
  • Take the keys away from guests showing obvious signs of drunkenness and call them a cab if necessary.

On Super Bowl Sunday night 2010, then-Riverside police Chief Russ Leach ran a red light and crashed his city-owned vehicle, driving on the rims for several miles, while intoxicated. He resigned days later and eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI, resulting in his being sentenced to home detention and probation.

—City News Service.

JJ Mclure January 31, 2014 at 08:44 AM
catching drunks will be easy
TVOR January 31, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Good to hear they will be doing more saturation patrols. That is far more effective than checkpoints.
I'm Not a Fighter I'm a Lover January 31, 2014 at 12:11 PM
Stop serving alcohol after the 3rd quarter? So we have 1 hour to sober up? What if I drink a handle of vodka then sober up for the 4th quarter?? Silly, when are we gonna acknowledge that alcohol is a drug, and by far the most deadly. Just say no! Don't do drugs!
I'm Not a Fighter I'm a Lover January 31, 2014 at 12:12 PM
And props to them cops. But, I will say that every day is the super bowl in Temecula, we have a high percentage of drunks on the road with the wineries and casino's, just saying.
TemeKoala January 31, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Right on Brenda! I couldn't agree more. Go get those drunks, Old Town, Rancho California Rd., De Portola Rd., and Pechanga Pkwy., there are your drunks. Wineries, night clubs, and casino's..., we could do without all the trash that those places attract.
LBV Collins January 31, 2014 at 12:31 PM
@TVOR: "Good to hear they will be doing more saturation patrols. That is far more effective than checkpoints." / I completely agree, TVOR. (What a concept, eh? Pull over someone who ACTUALLY appears to be driving under the influence, as opposed to stopping EVERYONE who happens to be driving at that time for a quick shakedown.)
ChrisG January 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM
Ill be drinking and driving my armchair. Be safe and enjoy the game everyone!
beaumontdave January 31, 2014 at 04:05 PM
Amazing the frantic rush to get home after the game, I would hang tight wherever for at least an hour just to avoid the mad drunken dash.
Steve Newman January 31, 2014 at 04:08 PM
Brenda- my sister from another mister- a handle of Vodka- my kind of woman- they stop serving beer at Quallcomm at the end of the third quarter-except for the raider games- than it is half time. But the people can just in the parking lot and continue tailgating for another hour. You can never have enough roving patrols to catch everybody. Does anybody have any idea of how many units are on patrol on a given night-. it is under 10- under 10 to cover a city as big as temecula. So while checkpoints might have a lower chance of getting drunks off the streets, the manpower need is less.
LAKE ELSINORE RESIDENT January 31, 2014 at 05:11 PM
I can't wait to see all the Weirdomar Moron Sheep listed on the Patch for their DUI's once again.
southernbelle February 01, 2014 at 01:42 AM
@TVOR--agree but the mention of checkpoints instills a little pre-game fear in people-that's needed too. @Brenda-- guuurrl, a handle o' vodka? straight?? good lawd-that'll rot a gut. alcohol makes me ornery so i'm better off keeping it low low key. keep it safe friends!
The Majority February 01, 2014 at 01:59 AM
+1 for saturation patrols. Additionally, I would speculate that announcing in advance that there will be saturation patrols scattered randomly throughout a city is far more effective than having a checkpoint in a single location. Which is easier to avoid? Particularly, when tweets and FB posts start appearing advising of a checkpoint's location. Moreover, saturation patrols create a better chance that patrols are stopping drivers based upon reasonable suspicion....that sounds much more constitutionally sound than interrogating nearly every innocent citizen without probable cause at a checkpoint.
ChrisG February 01, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Checkpoints are feel good measures that do not provide nearly as much bang-for-buck as roving patrols. It's like the lock on your sliding glass door. Makes you feel good to have it but it isn't keeping anyone out that wants in. If you truly want drunks off our roads please support roving patrols over checkpoints.
Jeff February 01, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Concern Steve's comments: "Does anybody have any idea of how many units are on patrol on a given night-. it is under 10- under 10 to cover a city as big as Temecula. So while checkpoints might have a lower chance of getting drunks off the streets, the manpower need is less." A couple of months ago I drove by a checkpoint on Grand avenue in lovely Lakeland Village. There must have been at least 50 officers and at least 20 patrol cars and multiple tow trucks (probably a lot more). That does not seem to be an effective use of our tax dollars. Get those officers & patrol cars on the streets pulling over the obvious drunks. Go out on any Saturday night. The number of people driving unsafely (and likely drunk) is obvious. Checkpoints (show your papers stops) are really are an assault on our freedoms.
southernbelle February 01, 2014 at 12:44 PM
We've had this checkpoint discussion on the Patch several times, and it's always interesting to hear all the civil thoughts-- When I first started posting I stood 100% behind the checkpoints, regardless of the inconvenience and line walking of alleged "assault" on Const. Rights. But after reading solid thoughts/points here by several of you, I think I've changed my stance and can see how checkpoints --for catching DUI drivers-- is not as effective as I originally believed. My stance was that if even 1 DUI was removed, that is potentially 1 life saved (possibly my husband or kids life!!), therefore the "GRANTS" our city receives specifically for these events is worth spending. Also, it goes without saying, under the umbrella exists several other possibilities of arrests; warrants, illegal imms, driving w/o license, etc. which I am sure is also an unwritten purpose for these. Anyway--some solid points have been made and if purposed DUI saturation patrol can happen, then I agree that is the better solution. Especially if 20 patrol cars, 50 officers, and all the tow trucks were out on the streets at the same time. AND letting the public know! fear is often the best motivator!
PrescientLogic February 01, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Wow! "My Country tis of thee"??? All You folks do realize you're the ones in the dusty gray togs sitting on the slab benches in that Apple 1984 commercial don't you?
ATC February 01, 2014 at 04:46 PM
Checkpoints or saturation patrols; if you're not driving drunk (or unlicensed, unregistered, or...) then you don't have to worry about "sitting on the slab benches".
beaumontdave February 01, 2014 at 05:19 PM
PL we're discussing the kind of police and by extension, the community we want to have, some will go to council meetings and voice their feelings, many will vote for those who represent our desires. Change comes slowly, but it comes, and not just by the fascist dictates of a few in total control of us all. You can have your cynical fear and mock the rest of us, but I see a totally different picture and little of Orwell's vision of dystopia is reality today, except the dumbing down of general education to the point that some have to reference a Super bowl commercial because their too lazy to read "1984".
PrescientLogic February 01, 2014 at 05:43 PM
I apologize. I recognize my ad hominem approach. Sticking to the subject then: I strongly disagree with checkpoints that operate with an on scene and off scene command structure. Any mistakes of identity or paperwork are 100% against the individual without specific articulable facts for the initial detainment.
KB February 02, 2014 at 12:44 AM
I've seen stats that saturation patrols are better, but what about those 8AM Wed. morning checkpoints? I mean, they're really effective...I'm just not sure at what.
KB February 02, 2014 at 01:16 AM
It's fascinating to me how clueless some can be; here's a perfect example: HSBC was money laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels and not one person was charged. And yet recently a 80+ year old man was beat up by the police for jay walking. Wow. These so-called DUI checkpoints are police state dragnets and nothing less; meant among other things to keep the unwashed masses in line. The ruling/political class are not loosing any sleep over DUI's. If they were, they wouldn't be running DUI checkpoints at 8AM on a Wed morning.
ATC February 03, 2014 at 09:06 PM
Do you have a link to a legitimate story of an 80 year old man being beat up by the police for jaywalking? Or about a DUI checkpoint held at 8:00am on a Wednesday? Or is that all just hyperbole to get a rise out of readers?
Jeff February 03, 2014 at 09:55 PM
I don't know about the 80 year old man being beat up, but the Wednesday, 8:00am Wednesday Checkpoint is real. Here is the link Riverside Press Enterprise report on the 8:00am Wednesday Checkpoint; http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/temecula/temecula-headlines-index/20131101-temecula-no-dui-arrests-from-checkpoint.ece
southernbelle February 04, 2014 at 11:50 AM
I also attest that the 8:00am Wed morning checkpoint did occur. I think there were 3 arrests--but can't remember exactly.
Jeff February 04, 2014 at 11:59 AM
There were zero arrests at the 8:00am Wednesday Checkpoint. However, it did create massive traffic jams, causing many to be late for work & school. Another fine use of our tax dollars!
southernbelle February 04, 2014 at 12:54 PM
oh, my bad. Here's a silly comment form the Sgt. "In a release, Temecula Police Sgt. Dean Spivacke said that the purpose of the checkpoint was to keep residents safe." Menawhile there was a water main break at the same location causing traffic to be an even worse nightmare, I guess. I didn't experience it--thankfully. Over 2000 cars, 1700ish being screened--and like I said before--it had to be a facade for something else that no one is mentioning. Thoughts??? immigrant? drugs? I'm not buying a DUI checkpoint at that time in the AM.
southernbelle February 04, 2014 at 12:56 PM
hey--how come the time stamps are 2 hrs ahead???? I almost had a heart attack--got to get to work. have a fun day all.
ATC February 05, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Well, reading that link, it appears that there is indeed a reason for doing the checkpoint at 8 am during the week. Temecula had nearly 40 daytime DUI arrests last year, 25% of them on a Wednesday. Lotta daytime drinking going on in Temecula?
The Majority February 05, 2014 at 12:33 AM
I think what's really interesting here is that Temecula Police Sgt. Dean Spivacke indicated in a press conference regarding that checkpoint on Wednesday Oct 30th that the department made 10 DUI arrests over a one year period occurring on Wednesdays. Hypothetically, if we were to assume that a DUI checkpoint was as effective as all of the alternatives methods used to acquire 10 DUI arrests over a 52 week period, the department only had a 1 and 5 to make one DUI arrest on Oct 30th. If only two or three arrests were made that day, the department could justify that the checkpoint was more effective than all of the alternatives used to make DUI arrests. This is evidence that DUI checkpoints are far less effective than all of the alternatives used for making the roads safer by removing impaired drivers
KB February 07, 2014 at 01:10 AM
@ATC I was mistaken, the jay walker beat up and hospitalized by the police was 84 not 80. Just google: 84 year old hospital jaywalk


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