An end-of-summer drunken driving campaign by local law enforcement netted 175 DUI arrests, as well as 34 other related arrests, reported police Tuesday.
The arrests are 12 percent higher than last year's push to take suspected drunken drivers off the road, reported Petaluma Sgt. Ken Savano, who helped organize the 18-day effort.
The effort started Aug. 19 and ended at midnight Monday, encompassing the wind-down of summertime breaks and return of school along with the long Labor Day weekend.
There were no fatal drunken driving crashes but five collisions involving suspected drunken drivers with six people injured.
Officers from the 13 Sonoma County law enforcement agencies participated in the campaign.
They held four drunken driving checkpoints, conducted an extensive search for drivers wanted on DUI-related arrest warrants and a check of people convicted of driving while impaired to see if they were following probation rules.
In last year's effort, officers arrested 155 people and in 2009 they arrested 168. In each of those years there were eight crashes involving suspected intoxicated drivers and 10 victims from those crashes.
The running total of arrests for the three years was 498.
Savano said the numbers indicate the anti-DUI campaigns are working.
"I am thankful that most drivers in Sonoma County demonstrated responsible decisions related to alcohol and driving and therefore prevented a senseless tragedy from occurring," Savano said. "I do regret having to report six people injured by DUI drivers and we continue our efforts to prevent others from being a victim of DUI."
The next extended effort to focus on impaired drivers will start in mid December and run through New Years Day.
— Randi Rossman, The Press Democrat