DUI arrests down over Memorial Day weekend

CHP reports decrease in DUI arrests from last year, but traffic fatalities rise

The California Highway Patrol arrested fewer drunken drivers in the Bay Area this Memorial Day weekend than last year, but there were more traffic deaths, CHP officials said.

In the Bay Area, CHP officers from 12 command areas arrested 218 drunken drivers between Friday at 6 p.m. and Monday at midnight, down from 227 arrests in 2010, CHP Sgt. Trent Cross said.

The number of fatalities went up this year in the Bay Area, with two traffic fatalities in 2011 compared to one last year during the holiday weekend, according to Cross. In many Bay Area counties DUI arrests were down from last year, according to county officials.

San Mateo County officials reported three DUI arrests in the county, down from five arrests in 2010. Like last year, there were no traffic fatalities, according to Daly City police Sgt. David Mackriss.

Santa Clara County law enforcers arrested 133 people for DUI. In 2010, there were 146 DUI arrests. There were five DUI crashes with three injuries this year, but no deaths were reported, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Statewide, there were 1,367 DUI arrests this year, also down from 1,541 arrests during Memorial Day weekend in 2010. There were 24 traffic deaths statewide this year, with six people killed while not wearing a seatbelt. Last year there were 17 traffic fatalities, according to Cross.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by madd
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Drunk drivers are terrorizing our roadways. How can we stop them before they get to the streets? The police should be a last resort.

Like this comment
Posted by Madd weary
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Fatalities up and DUI arrests down. Maybe it's time to clue in that DUI is not the only cause of fatal accidents.

Like this comment
Posted by madd
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

"DUI arrests down" does not mean there is less drunk driving. And the number of arrests is only slightly lower this year than last year.

Like this comment
Posted by Driver
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Big problem is calling them drunk drivers. Most drivers who have had a couple of drinks may agree that they are dui, but not that they are drunk.

Calling those who have had a couple of beers or a glasses of wine over the legal limit is very different than saying that there are a lot of drunk drivers out there.

Everyone agrees that drunks should not drive. It is telling someone who isn't drunk just over the limit that they should not drive that is the problem.

Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm

The statistical fluctuations here are being interpreted as significant without any justification. When the number of fatalities goes from 1 to 2, that is just the same as the noise level. You also need to look at the number of crashes, not just the number of fatalities. A single crash can cause 0,1,2, .. fatalities. Overall you need to compare at least 10 years, not just this year to last year. The number of arrests is also related to the level of enforcement, not just the number of violators, so that is not a meaningful number by itself.

These statistics are important, and it is a shame to see them used so irresponsibly.

Like this comment
Posted by Dad
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

Give me a pot smoker on a bike over a "wine drinker" in a car any day.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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