SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Fourth of July holiday has state and local law enforcement officers patrolling roadways throughout the Bay Area to crack down on DUI drivers and seat belt use, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Independence Day is a maximum enforcement period for the CHP with all officers assigned to focus on impaired drivers and those not wearing safety belts, CHP spokeswoman Diana McDermott said.
“There are a lot of people who are DUI who are not buckling up,” McDermott said. “There are numerous people in fatal accidents where people absolutely could have survived if they were buckled up.”
The CHP accepts that people of drinking age will drive to July 4 celebrations and BBQs but should have a designated sober driver to drive them back if they chose to drink alcohol, McDermott said.
Extra CHP officers have been working since Wednesday with multiple county law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area at special events and DUI and driver’s license checkpoints, the CHP reported.
In Sonoma County, the CHP is helping sheriff’s deputies monitor crowds at events today in the Russian River area near Healdsburg and other parts of the county associated with alcohol use and will assist them at a DUI checkpoint Friday night.
In San Francisco, the Police Department will deploy saturation patrols on Friday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. and a DUI driver and license checkpoint on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., the police said.
In Alameda County, the CHP in Castro Valley has special DUI patrols, which began Wednesday, running through Sunday, CHP Lt. Christopher Sherry said.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office reported that officers from 13 cooperating law agencies had arrested 10 people for DUI as of Wednesday at the start of nine DUI saturation patrols, sheriff’s Deputy Kurtis Stenderup said.
The patrols will continue until midnight Sunday, Stenderup said.
Law enforcement officers in Monterey County will be on the roads today through Sunday night in a joint effort with officers in San Benito County at 20 sobriety checkpoints, according to Jan Ford, spokeswoman for the California Office of Traffic Safety.
In Monterey County, checkpoints will be set up tonight by police in the city of Marina and by Salinas police in Salinas on Friday night, Ford said.
Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or more is illegal in California and fines and penalties for people arrested can reach $13,000, Sherry said.
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