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CHP Reports Holiday DUI Arrests Down in Bay Area, State

The California Highway Patrol is reporting a decrease in arrests made for driving under the influence this past holiday weekend when compared to last year.

In the time frame beginning from 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 through midnight Dec. 26, Bay Area CHP officers made 115 DUI arrests, down from 195 arrests from the same period last year.

DUI-related arrests also are significantly down statewide with officials reporting 658 motorists caught drunk driving. In 2009, CHP made 1,104 DUI-related arrests during the same period.

Traffic deaths statewide were just a fraction of what they were last year, with a single fatality reported this year versus 15 DUI-related deaths reported last year, the CHP said.

Authorities say a stronger presence of officers out on the roads during the holiday weekends has helped.

“We are taking proactive DUI roles specifically for the longer holiday weekends,” said Dublin-area CHP Officer Steve Creel. “There’s a randomness to our enforcement — with the whole idea is we always want to be non-predictable.”

Creel said his CHP region, which covers the Tri-Valley area, also has seen a slight decrease in  DUI-caused collisions and arrests for the entire year.

To date, the Dublin-area CHP has made 672 DUI arrests and responded to 110 DUI-related collisions, Creel said.

Meanwhile, CHP officers will continue to send out more units on the road during the upcoming New Year’s weekend.

Creel said the wet weather coupled with alcohol consumed during the holiday season has a potential for tragedy. He offers up some advice.

“Take time to plan how you will get home prior to the celebration, and not after you get to the party and have consumed alcohol,” he said. “It will be the responsible thing to do not only for yourself, but for your passengers and the general public.”

In addition, Creel warns of the minimum consequences for any DUI arrest.

  • Mandatory suspension of your driving privileges
  • Placed under arrest, booked and car towed
  • Incident added to your driving record
  • Potential issues with employment
  • Courts can institute alcohol-interlock devices on your vehicle
  • Other possible suspensions, fines from court
  • Attorney fees for any representation in court

“This is not a regular ticket,” Creel said. “It is the gift that keeps on giving.”

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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