Bottoms Up

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Bay Area Cops On DUI Patrol — Big Time

By William Brand
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005 at 10:04 pm in Uncategorized.

OK, thinking about chugging a few this weekend and then trying to drive home undetected. These are press releases from the Bay Area law enforcement team to the media about checkpoint plans for the weekend. Note: There are very few specific checkpoints this year. Read on…

EARLY FRIDAY NIGHT: 6 p.m.
STRIKE TEAM BRIEFING
First Presbyterian Church, Castro Valley
2490 Grove Way
Briefing for major 70-officer DUI Strike Team from Avoid the 21 in Alameda County. Top DUI officers from many jurisdictions and police brass will be there. Officers will be trained on drug recognition and will fan out over the county to arrest DUI suspects all night long. Roving patrols, not a checkpoint.

LATER FRIDAY NIGHT: 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
PALO ALTO POLICE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT
University Ave. at Seneca St.

The intense enforcement campaign continues until New Year’s Day. Both Alameda and Santa Clara County are seeing significant reductions in DUI arrests. Avoid campaigns involve 125 police departments from all nine Bay Area counties. More than 2600 DUI suspects were arrested during last year’s campaign.

# # #

For immediate release:
POLICE GEAR UP FOR NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND
WITH INTENSE STREET AND FREEWAY PATROLS,
JAIL DRUNK TANKS ARE AT THE READY

Motorcycle Lt. Al Casciato hopes for a repeat of last year’s near-miracle at San Francisco General Hospital, when no car crash victims showed up at the trauma center on New Year’s Eve.

Countywide police crackdowns from Sonoma County to Monterey County will send out swarms of officers from city, county, state and federal agencies to arrest DUI suspects over the final weekend of the 17-day Avoid campaigns, but hope that designated sober drivers will reduce the DUI arrest and crash total.

“We’ll be concentrating on looking for any justification to stop a vehicle, whether it’s burned out headlights or taillights, cracked or tinted windshields or expired registration along with the regular speeding and weaving,” the San Francisco Police Dept.’s Casciato said.

DUI enforcement details include sobriety checkpoints in Union City, Petaluma, San Francisco and Saratoga on Friday night, Dec. 30. The Avoid campaigns end at midnight in New Year’s Day. Officers will concentrate on street patrol for the remainder of the weekend.

Local CHP area commands will send out 80 percent of their available officers starting on Friday and ending on New Year’s Day, said Capt. Jim Leonard of the Oakland CHP.

Police in the nine Bay Area counties plus Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties have made an even 1800 DUI arrests since the campaigns began Dec. 16, down three percent overall compared to the same period last year.

Alcohol-related injury crashes stand at 48, down off by a third from last year’s total. Two have died in DUI crashes.

“Impaired drivers endanger the lives of everyone we protect and serve. No one who pins on a badge has any intention of putting up with the problem,” said Chief Scott Vermeer of the Mountain View Police Dept.
In Santa Cruz County, Capitola Police Chief Rick Ehle issues a challenge. “This is your last weekend to frustrate police officers by driving stone-cold sober and making it impossible for us to find anyone to arrest.”

Jail drunk tanks are ready for people who try to create holiday cheer with alcohol and then get behind the wheel over the long New Year’s weekend.

“There is one toilet and one bench in our drunk tank,” said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Mallamo.

“Although our jail is new, conditions are still unpleasant,” said Capt. Chuck Monarque of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. “There are other drunks in there along with transients and people who are vomiting. It’s not an environment in which you’d like to spend any length of time.”

The California Office of Traffic Safety funds all 21 countywide Avoid campaigns.

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  • Bob Wilcox

    I have drank in a Bar in San Pablo,Ca with off duty San Pablo Police and watched them get into their cars and drive and then a week later…they would arrest someone for doing the same thing???