Law enforcement ups DUI patrols, starting today

Avoid the 13

The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes, according to county press release sent out today.

The Avoid the 13 Santa Clara County DUI Campaign is reminding citizens that law enforcement will be stepping up patrols and cracking down on impaired drivers this Independence Day. The upped vigilance is part of the ongoing “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement crackdown to catch and arrest impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk.

On Tuesday through Wednesday, extra DUI roving patrols will be assigned by police within the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Jose.

The California Highway Patrol’s maximum enforcement period (when CHP assigns all available officers to the region’s freeways, state highways and unincorporated roads) will take place from 6 p.m. Tuesday through midnight Wednesday.

With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday, the CHP is fully aware that “many in our community will be taking the rest of the week off.” In response to this, DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols will be out in force throughout the weekend.

“The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in impaired-driving fatalities,” states CHP Officer Erica Elias in the press release. “Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers.”

The press release warns that DUI crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the U.S. This equates to an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 51 minutes.

• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation
• Use your community’s sober ride program. Union Taxi from Gilroy offers free, local cab rides on most major holidays and will be open from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. July 4
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate: Report drunk drivers by calling 911.
• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Source: Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force

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