Bay Area counties reported varying results for the number of people arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the New Year's holiday enforcement period.
Although some locations saw overall increases in the number of people arrested, others reported drops in DUI arrests, which bucks the statewide trend announced by the California Highway Patrol Monday that DUI driving arrests were up and traffic deaths were down compared to last year's numbers.
In the Tri-Valley, CHP officers arrested 36 drivers on suspicion of DUI between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1, up from 15 in 2010, said Steve Creel, public information officer with Dublin area CHP. In Contra Costa County alone, officers made 274 DUI related arrests and counted 1 DUI related fatality.
Statewide, CHP officers arrested 1,181 drivers on suspicion of DUI, up from 961 the year before, for the period between 6 p.m. Dec. 30 and 11:59 p.m. Jan. 1.
"Having the holidays on the weekend it made it a longer holiday period. It wouldn't surprise me if the numbers are higher because you have potential celebration nights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday," Creel said, adding that Dublin CHP patrols Interstate 680 south of Diablo Road to Santa Clara County and Interstate 580 between Castro Valley and Livermore.
Creel said the increase in DUI arrests might also be due to increased population in Dougherty Valley and other such new communities. CHP has increased its staff in the Tri-Valley and also set up DUI checkpoints during the holiday season.
CHP officers reported two fatalities and 195 DUI arrests on Bay Area roads, compared to five deaths and 140 DUI arrests the year before -- a
39 percent increase in arrests.
The Avoid the 8 campaign announced Tuesday that police and CHP officers made 129 DUI arrests in San Francisco during the 17-day enforcement period beginning Dec. 16, up from last year's 100 arrests.
No alcohol-related traffic deaths were reported in San Francisco, and the last DUI fatality in the city occurred in 2007, San Francisco police traffic Capt. Al Casciato said Tuesday.
From 12:01 a.m. Dec. 16 to midnight Jan. 1, officers from various law enforcement agencies in the county arrested 482 people. In 2010, there were 557 DUI arrests during the same period. Creel said CHP arrested 869 people for DUI in 2011, an approximately 25 percent increase from 2010, and counted 120 DUI-caused collisions.