Authorities across the county are preparing to crack down on drunk driving as San Diegans gear up for Fourth of July festivities.
Increased DUI patrols and checkpoints kicked off Tuesday, reminding partygoers to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" while celebrating the Fourth of July.
This begins a four-day, countywide effort to prevent alcohol-related deaths and injuries, as well as underage drinking in San Diego County.
Law enforcement agencies will be teaming up throughout the region to enforce DUI laws. That includes San Diego police, San Diego County Sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol and more.
As you prepare to drive home from the festivities, authorities reminded the public to keep in mind that drunk driving can have deadly consequences.
"For those that make the wrong and terrible decision to drive impaired, we want you to know this," said SDPD Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, in a statement.
"We will be conducting maximum DUI enforcement targeting drunk and impaired drivers throughout the entire holiday period. This will include saturation controls and DUI checkpoints," warned Zimmerman.
Last year, 37 people were arrested for driving under the influence during the Fourth of July weekend. In addition, there were 12 DUI-related collisions. That shows higher numbers than previous years, according to Chief Zimmerman.
Summer Stephan, the chief deputy district attorney of San Diego County reminded the community what the true spirit of the holiday is all about.
"Let the Fourth of July be about the independence of our country, not about you losing your independence for a choice to drink and drive and destroy somebody's life," said Stephan.
Everyone plays a crucial role in public safety, which is a shared responsibility. Police say if you see something suspicious, speak up and do something about it.