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Neither drunken driving nor illegal fireworks will be tolerated in San Diego County this Fourth of July, authorities warned today.
“Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes,” according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Throughout San Diego County, there will be DUI checkpoint, along with an amped-up number of deputies patrolling for drunken drivers through the rest of the week, the department said in a statement.
“Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so we will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers,” Sheriff's Bill Gore said.
Authorities also said they will be on the lookout for residents in possession of illegal fireworks.
A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission showed fireworks sent 9,600 people to emergency rooms last year, according to the Sheriff's Department.
“Fireworks can cause burns, lacerations, amputations and blindness,” the department said in a statement. “Sparklers can burn at a temperature hot enough to melt gold.”
The Sheriff's Department also urged residents to consider the risk of wildfire when contemplating the use of illegal fireworks.
“The best way to protect your family is to attend fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals,” authorities said.
For those residents who do attend professional fireworks displays, there will be several road closures to watch out for. All or part of following roads are slated to be closed Wednesday evening due to Fourth of July celebrations:
— in San Marcos, Linda Vista Drive at Pacific and South Rancho Santa Fe Road;
— in Valley Center, Betsworth Road at Lilac Road;
— in Vista, Vale Terrace Drive between East Vista Way and Vale Terrace Place, along with several small side streets off Vale Terrace Drive;
— in Poway, Espola Road between Twin Peaks and Old Coach roads; and
— in Encinitas, Solana Circle off Villa de la Villa.
The Sheriff's Department said heavy traffic can be expected on Mission Road in Fallbrook due to fireworks in the area at 9:30 p.m. and on Lilac Road in Valley Center from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. due to Fourth of July festivities.
In Imperial Beach, parking will be blocked on the west side of Seacoast Drive from Daisy Avenue to Imperial Beach Boulevard, along with both sides of Second Street from Palm Avenue to Imperial Beach Boulevard.
—City News Service