SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Police and highway patrol officers are out in force throughout the Bay Area for an Independence Day holiday weekend crackdown on drunk and impaired drivers.

In San Francisco, saturation patrols were set to begin Friday and continue through Monday. A sobriety checkpoint is planned for Saturday at Lombard and Divisadero streets from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Officials said there has been a significant social change in recent years in the way people think about drunk driving, to the extent that many drivers will now phone in to report suspected drunk drivers on the road.

“Nobody tolerates DUI anymore, especially law enforcement,” said San Francisco police Capt. Al Casciato, chairman of the city’s “Avoid the 8” crackdown effort.

In Alameda County, sobriety checkpoints are planned in Oakland and Livermore tonight at undisclosed locations. Saturation patrols are also planned for Berkeley, Dublin, Fremont, Pleasanton and University of California at Berkeley.

In Santa Clara County, extra patrols are planned in cities including Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose and Santa Clara. San Jose police will also be conducting a sobriety checkpoint.

In Sonoma County, countywide saturation patrols and two sobriety checkpoints at unspecified locations are planned. The California Highway Patrol will also be providing extra patrols for parking and alcohol-related violations in areas near the Russian River in Healdsburg, Forestville and Guerneville, where problems are common during holiday periods.

There were 29 arrests by the CHP in the Santa Rosa area during the 2010 Fourth of July holiday period, 26 of them for DUI, officials said.

Saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints are also planned in Solano and Monterey counties. A checkpoint is planned in Salinas tonight at an undisclosed location between 6:30 p.m. and midnight.

Nationally, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009, and 40 percent of those deaths involved drivers who were legally drunk. Seven were killed in DUI-related wrecks in California that year and another 352 were injured.

Drivers are urged to plan a safe way home before festivities begin, designate a sober driver and give them the keys, or call a taxi, use public transit or call a sober friend or family member if they are intoxicated. Also, don’t hesitate to report drunk drivers on the road by calling 911.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. James Greybush says:

    Just another excuse to try and justify their jobs. they only catch the stupid people during these checkpoints or harass innocent citizens.

    i think drunk drivers should be stopped, but who will patrol the other streets during this time?


    1. RealityCheck says:

      I hate to be the one to break the news, but not all of the police in those areas will be staffing the checkpoint. And you would be amazed how many “stupid people” get caught under the influence by these checkpoints. They also provide an opportunity for public education that most people would otherwise not experience.

  2. ani says:

    Please, let the police do their jobs. THey are there to help promote safe driving habits by removing intoxicated and dangerous drivers from the road. Dangerous drivers kill innocent victims and this act has no place on our freeway. We are not about to become of a rise in fatal accidents, the result of careless driving. Drinking and driving do not mix. The same should also be applied to text messaging and driving.

  3. Think About It says:

    Some free country…

    1. RealityCheck says:

      Yes, it is a free country. You are free to go almost wherever and whenever you wish. But when you are out and about you might run into a DUI checkpoint. There is a huge amount of caselaw that allows these to take place. Freedom is not free and it comes with heavy responsibility a$$hat! In fact the more free the society the greater the obligation for those people to act responsibly and drinking and driving is a massive breach of that obligation. Hope you or someone you know does not get injured or killed by a drunk driver.

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