Separate checkpoints in Vista, Oceanside net 3 arrests

VISTA, Calif. - Three suspected drunken drivers were arrested at two separate checkpoints on N. Santa Fe Avenue at the start of the St. Patrick's Day weekend, one in Vista and the other in Oceanside, authorities said Saturday.

Sheriff's deputies manned a checkpoint in the 600 block of Santa Fe Avenue near Nevada Avenue, according to sheriff's Sgt. Joel Wigand. More than 1,100 vehicles passed through between 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m., he said.

Deputies arrested two suspected drunken drivers and issued 24 citations, Wigand said.

Oceanside police officers set up a checkpoint on N. Santa Fe Avenue in their North County city. Officers screened 388 drivers and arrested one for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol between 9:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 a.m., Oceanside police Sgt. Ignacio Lopez said.

Seven vehicles were towed during the operation and fourteen citations were issued, he said.

Lopez said the checkpoint's focus was to reduce drunken driving crashes while removing intoxicated motorists from the road.

Officers working the checkpoint were pleased that a significant number of people who passed through were in a taxi or were using a designated driver, Lopez said.

Both checkpoints were funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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