Starting Friday, the San Diego Sheriff's Department will charge a fee for rescues in the back country that result from violations federal, state or local laws, such as illegal drinking.
In July the County Board of Supervisors approved reimbursement of costs during search and rescue operations when illegal activity is the cause.
The county can collect up to $12,000 in recovery expenses. Law breakers can also be arrested or cited for criminal offenses.
The Sheriff's department said ill‐equipped and reckless hikers put a strain on resources and budget. When deputies and helicopters are tied up in a search and rescue call, they are not able to respond to other emergencies.