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Drunken driving conviction can costs nearly $16,000

Saint Patrick’s Day weekend means some people will celebrate with green beer, but the cost of getting behind the wheel after drinking might cost more than you think.

The Auto Club of Southern California is warning partiers about the cost of drinking and driving.

AAA calculated $15,649 worth of fines. That is up 29 percent from 2011.

But it’s not just the financial cost, in 2010 774 people died as a result of drunken drivers in California.

“The Santa Barbara Police Department is very proactive with regard to DUI enforcement, with specially trained DUI officers with checkpoints and just a very proactive approach to making sure that drunk drivers are off the road,” said Sgt. Riley Harwood, Santa Barbara Police Department.

Law enforcement throughout the tri-counties will be out in full force this weekend making sure those who drink don’t get behind the wheel.

On Friday, Oxnard police will be conducting a DUI checkpoint from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

On Saturday, Ventura police will be out from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

On Sunday, both the Santa Maria and Santa Barbara police departments will be conducting checkpoints from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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