Police ramping up DUI patrols for July 4th

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The Fourth of July holiday campaign to deter impaired driving already is underway in Santa Rosa, while other Sonoma County law enforcement agencies will be ramping up patrols starting today.

With July Fourth this year falling on a Wednesday, many people are taking long weekend breaks leading to or starting with the holiday, so Santa Rosa police officers are conducting a weeklong focus, Sgt. Summer Black said.

CHP Officer Jon Sloat said Independence Day often is the busiest holiday for DUI arrests for his agency.

Statewide, additional CHP patrols will be on the highways and rural roadways from 6 p.m. tonight Tuesday to midnight Wednesday.

DUI crashes killed 17 people and injured 430 in California during the long 2017 Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to statewide law enforcement statistics.

In 2016, 10 people were killed and 414 injured, compared with 14 killed and 266 injured the previous year.

In 2014, 20 people died in DUI crashes during the holiday weekend, while 28 were killed in 2013.

Santa Rosa police won’t be conducting a DUI checkpoint but the department will have more officers on the road looking for DUI drivers, Black said.

The Rohnert Park Public Safety Department is adding extra patrols for DUI drivers, Cmdr. Aaron Johnson said.

They’ll also have additional firefighters on duty due to the added fire danger.

In Healdsburg, Windsor, Sebastopol, Sonoma and Petaluma, where big fireworks shows will be held, police agencies will have added officers on duty to deal with increased traffic and potentially impaired drivers.

“It’s all hands on deck for us,” Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett said.

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