Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento-area DUI arrests rise with boosted enforcement for approaching holiday

Increased DUI patrol efforts from police departments across the county have led to 317 total arrests during the past two weeks - a period identified by officials as featuring elevated incidents of drunk driving.

The strict enforcement period, which began on noon Aug. 15 and will continue through midnight on Labor Day, involved deployments from 17 law enforcement agencies. Officers were assigned either to checkpoints, where they stopped motorists momentarily for license and sobriety checks, or saturation patrols, where they circulated designated areas looking for signs of impaired driving, including failure to maintain a lane, defiance of the posted speed limit, or long delays at stop signs or lights, according to Jason Browning, a Folsom Police Department public information officer.

A checkpoint is scheduled in Citrus Heights on Sunday night, and saturation patrols are deploying in Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento on Labor Day.

Sacramento police set up a DUI checkpoint at Power Inn and Elder Creek roads on Saturday. During a five- to seven-hour period, officers made four arrests for impaired driving, three for alcohol impairment and one for drug impairment, Sacramento Public Information Officer Michele Gigante said.

Police agencies are covering residential areas, business districts and incorporated and unincorporated areas of cities, Browning said. Officers made 350 DUI arrests during this same 16-day period in 2013. Their efforts are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Gigante said the additional enforcement is sometimes necessary on festive weekends, when people are more likely to participate in events that involve drinking.

“We try to do reminders before and during holidays,” she said. “We want our streets to be safe and we want our community to be safe.”