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South Bay Police Beef Up Patrols For Cinco De Mayo

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An officer inspects a car at a DUI check point.

An officer inspects a car at a DUI check point.

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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies are advising the public to have fun in a safe and responsible way on Cinco de Mayo.

Thirteen law enforcement agencies countywide are deploying extra units to patrol for drunken drivers.

Cinco de Mayo Events

The Avoid the 13 DUI task force will have extra patrols in Milpitas, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Los Altos Hills.

Units will look for drivers weaving out of lanes, making wide turns, failing to go at green lights, driving below the speed limit, and driving aggressively and recklessly, and other signs of intoxicated driving.

In San Jose, extra officers, on motorcycles and some possibly on horses, will patrol downtown as well as the Foothill division in East San Jose starting Thursday and throughout the weekend, police Officer Jose Garcia said.

“We encourage everyone to come and enjoy themselves as long as they are responsible for themselves,” Garcia said. “We will not tolerate anyone that is disorderly or creating a disturbance.”

He said he hopes the increased patrol will deter some of the problems that have plagued the city in the past, such as fights, stabbings, public intoxication, and vandalism of businesses and vehicles.

Cars will be prohibited from parking on Santa Clara Street to allow emergency vehicles to pass through and to prevent traffic hazards, Garcia said. Any vehicle that is found in violation will be towed.

Garcia said in the event that there is a large group of pedestrians in one area, police would close down certain streets and sidewalks and implement a plan to divert the pedestrians to other streets.

He advised people who are planning to drink to come with a designated driver or to arrange for someone to pick them up.

Meanwhile, AAA Northern California was offering free tows to drivers who drink too much while celebrating Cinco de Mayo Thursday.

The free tow, which is valid within 10 miles of the driver’s home, is offered between 6 p.m. Thursday evening and 6 a.m. Friday. Drivers should call (800) AAA-HELP and tell the AAA operator “I need a tipsy tow.”

Additional passengers will be taken to the driver’s home as long as there is room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck, AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.

AAA was not accepting reservations for the free rides.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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