Despite the fact that over the holiday season I have gently alluded to the likelihood of increased law enforcement activity, and the recently formed DUI Task Force here in California, the total number of DUI arrests over the 2011 holiday season reached respectfully low numbers.
According to the below article from the Modesto Bee, the Winter Holiday Anti-DUI crackdown netted more than 100 arrests of drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Stanislaus County, said Turlock Police Department Lt. Nino Amirfar.The beefed up enforcement started Dec. 16 and ended Sunday night. As of Saturday evening, the count was 115 drivers. Sunday numbers were not available Monday.
The count is down from 2010, when 157 DUI arrests occurred during the same 16-day period, Amirfar said.The Winter Holiday Campaign included extra checkpoints, multiagency DUI Task Force operations and roving DUI patrols. DUI arrests included local routine traffic enforcement and special “Avoid the 12” DUI deployments during key holiday dates, Amirfar said.For New Year’s Eve, DUI saturation patrols spread countywide, including the California Highway Patrol’s effort for the holiday weekend, he said.“All regularly scheduled traffic and patrol officers will focus efforts at stopping and arresting DUI drivers during their normal shifts through the weekend,” Amirfar said Saturday.As for those who sipped up and slipped up by driving over the holidays, the new year will likely bring a sobering financial hit. A driving-under-the-influence conviction can cost up to $10,000 — that’s if nothing was hit and no one was hurt. The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs offers these numbers:Fines and penalties range from $300 to $5,000. Jail time or community service sentences run two days to two years. Treatment programs average roughly $650. Count on court costs of about $800. Add at least $200 in towing or impound fees. Figure on an insurance increase of $500 to $1,500. Attorney’s fees average about $2,500.Loss of a job because of lost driving privileges or conviction adds far more.Drunken driving is the most common crime in the United States, with roughly 1.4 million arrests annually, according to the agency. By its reckoning, about 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.