Enforcement alert: DUI crackdown
Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 3:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 3:27 p.m.
Roads get dangerous this time of year as travelers pack in one last vacation before Labor Day and students return to school. As the number of cars climbs, so does the number of traffic accidents, says Petaluma Traffic Sergeant Ken Savano. August and September are two of the top five months for collisions.
That’s why Petaluma police will be out in force during the next two weeks, first as part of a multi-agency DUI crackdown and then, starting Aug. 20, as part of Petaluma’s Safe Routes to School Plan.
Also next week, Santa Rosa police will move their extra enforcement efforts to a dangerous intersection near Santa Rosa Junior College.
Between Friday, Aug. 16, and Labor Day, expect to see officers from 13 Sonoma County agencies aggressively looking for drunk drivers as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The DUI Task Force will arrest anyone caught driving drunk, said Petaluma Police Chief Patrick Williams. Plans are in place for four DUI/drivers license checkpoints, local roving DUI saturation patrols, a DUI warrant/probation sweep and two DUI court stings targeting suspended drivers who were ordered by the judge not to drive.
“Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” Williams said, and long weekends are especially dangerous. “If you do choose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”
Chris Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety, said “research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.”
Participating agencies include police departments from Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Windsor, Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College, along with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, Sonoma County Probation Department, ABC, MADD, the California Highway Patrol and State Parks. The campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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