Wednesday was opening day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in San Diego County, and a record crowd came to the track to celebrate the summer tradition. Unfortunately, it was also a big day for local law enforcement, who made 349 traffic stops and hauled in 15 people on drunk driving charges.

Officers from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and eight other local law enforcement agencies coordinated the DUI crackdown, in an effort to cut down on the unwelcome side of the big celebration. As described by the Los Angeles Times, the Sheriff’s Department wanted to send the message, “Along with picking your daily double, pick a designated driver.”

Officers required 56 drivers to submit to sobriety tests, although only 15 were brought up on drunk driving charges, and only 14 vehicles were impounded. Two people were arrested for drug possession and four more for driving without a license. The officers also issued 35 tickets for various traffic violations.

Additional DUI crackdowns planned for Del Mar racetrack area during the racing season

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has said that it is planning more events to crack down on racing fans at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Enhanced DUI enforcement, such as sobriety checkpoints and multi-agency operations like the one this week, could take place at any time without notice.

If you are arrested on drunk driving charges, don’t panic. While the situation is serious, you may have more options than you think. Get good advice as soon as possible after your arrest so as many options as possible remain open for keeping your driver’s license and defending yourself in court.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Police crack down on drunk drivers leaving Del Mar racetrack,” Tony Perry, July 21, 2011