Drinking and Driving Crackdowns

The California Highway Patrol always cracks down on drunk driving during holidays like the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Memorial Day. Officers statewide are on the lookout for people driving under the influence of alcohol, and detaining drivers who have had too much drink or are affected by drugs or medications.

To catch drunk drivers, officers increase the amount of patrols on the roads, initiate DUI checkpoints and follow leads offered by the general public. The crackdowns come when traffic is heavy and risks are high.

Recent CHP Efforts

The arrest results for the Fourth of July this year - from 6:00 p.m. July 3 to midnight July 4, 2012 - showed an overall decrease in the number of DUI arrests in California by CHP, according to an article in the Union Tribune. CHP reported that during this same period of time last year 1600 drunk driving suspects were arrested statewide, while this year 500 people were arrested. DUI fatalities throughout California also dropped from 14 fatalities last year to nine this year.

In San Diego County, during this same period of time, CHP arrested 37 drivers suspected of DUI; this is down from 69 drivers arrested last year. Further, the number of fatalities related to drinking and driving in San Diego County decreased from one to zero this year, according to CHP.

While these numbers are encouraging, the fact that this year Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday instead of a long weekend, it is more difficult to draw accurate comparisons. However, this is the second holiday in a row that showed a decrease in the number of drunk driving arrests over the previous year.

CHP statistics show that the number of DUI arrests in the San Diego area for Memorial Day 2012 fell to 68 from 83 in 2011; throughout California, DUI arrests over this holiday fell to 1305 this year from 1367 in 2011, reports KFMB television. All of these statistics include only CHP arrests and do not include arrests by local Police and Sheriffs.

Police Procedure

Police must follow certain procedures when initially contacting, arresting, questioning and testing a suspected drunk driver. Failure to do so can result in charges being dismissed or reduced.

After being arrested for driving under the influence, it is important to discuss your case with an attorney experienced in handling DUI cases as soon as possible to identify possible issues and set a DMV hearing. Most cases require DMV be contacted within 10 days of your arrest to set a hearing date in order to try to avoid a DMV license suspension.