CHP reports rise in DUI arrests over Labor Day | September 11, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - September 11, 2009

CHP reports rise in DUI arrests over Labor Day

Statewide traffic deaths drop from 40 to 12

by Geoff Gillette

Officials with the Avoid the 25 program have completed their Labor Day Enforcement action, and are reporting that area-wide the action was a success.

Statistics released Tuesday by the California Highway Patrol show that a total of 472 individuals in the Bay Area were arrested for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. CHP officers worked with police from a total of 125 agencies in conducting the enforcement action, which ran from Friday through Tuesday morning. During the same period in 2008, there were 466 arrests made.

Officers set up checkpoints all throughout the area. In Contra Costa County, the 25 agencies that made up the Avoid the 25 staged enforcement stops in El Cerrito, Pittsburg and Martinez. In addition, several saturation patrols and other enforcement activities were carried out over the long weekend.

Locally, CHP reported only a small number of arrests.

"We had a pretty quiet Labor Day weekend overall," said Dublin CHP Officer Steve Creel.

Creel said they saw only six arrests over the weekend. Contra Costa CHP Officer Tom Maguire said there were a total of 16 in its jurisdiction from 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Monday. Two of those arrests were the result of DUI-related crashes.

The DUI efforts are part of the larger "Over the limit, Under arrest" campaign, which seeks to remove impaired drivers from the roadway to reduce the number of alcohol related injury and fatality accidents that occur each year on Labor Day weekend.

Statewide, police reported drops in both the numbers of arrests made and the number of alcohol related fatalities. Preliminary numbers show that in 2008, there were a total of 1,586 arrests, while in 2009 the number dropped to 1,417.

In 2008, there were a total of 40 traffic deaths on California roadways over the long weekend. That number dropped to 12 in 2009. CHP officials did not say how many of those fatalities were the result of alcohol or drug use.