Law enforcement officers throughout the region and state will be heavily patrolling roads to keep drunken drivers off the streets.
Local police departments will be participating in “Avoid the 21,” which is a collaboration between agencies in the Bay Area that aims to enforce drunken driving laws.
Newark Police Department will facilitate a DUI and driver license status checkpoint as part of the agency’s effort to prevent impaired motorists from driving.
Newark's checkpoint will begin on Saturday at 7 p.m. and end on Sunday at 2 a.m. on Thornton Avenue near Newark Boulevard, according to a Newark Police Department alert.
Fremont Police Department will be hold a DUI Sobriety and Driver License Checkpoint beginning 5 p.m. on Sunday until 1 a.m. Monday on Mowry Avenue between Logan Drive and Sutter Drive, according to a Fremont Police Department alert.
Fremont police released the following statement about the sobriety checkpoint:
The checkpoint provides an opportunity for police to locate intoxicated and/or unlicensed drivers. Intoxicated drivers cause a disproportionately high number of traffic collisions and this check-point will help take them off the roadways. The checkpoint also helps to educate the public by distributing informational pamphlets and by letting the community know that the police are out in force to protect them from these dangerous drivers.
Police officers not working the checkpoint will also be on alert for intoxicated or drug impaired drivers that evening. A conviction for DUI will result in a suspension of driving privileges, fines, and possibly jail time. The Fremont Police Department would like to remind all drivers to act responsibly and to report all suspected drunk drivers.
Newark police noted that the public's help is needed to report suspected drunk drivers and that swerving or weaving in and out of lanes, traveling much slower than the flow of traffic or aggresive driving are possible behaviors of inebriated drivers.
Officers with the California Highway Patrol will facilitate a “maximum enforcement period” between 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday in which efforts to assist motorists travel safely will be increased.
“The winter holidays can pose some of the toughest challenges for our officers,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Inclement weather, holiday celebrations, and drivers in a hurry to get to their destination can make for a deadly combination."
"We want you to enjoy the season and remember that safety is a crucial element,” he added.
The holiday season can be particularly dangerous for drivers. Young adults, males and those driving at night are at the greatest risk of being involved in a collision with an alcohol-impaired driver or, worse yet, losing their lives, said CHP representatives.
There are three simple ways you can help prevent a tragedy, Farrow said:
- Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver beforehand, or make arrangements for a safe way home. If you drink, do not drive.
- If you are impaired, instead of getting behind the wheel, find another way home. Call a taxi or a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person drive. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. You may save someone’s life.
Along with the increased enforcement effort, the CHP is asking motorists to help keep the state’s roadways safe by calling 9-1-1 to report a suspected drunk driver. Callers should be prepared to provide dispatchers with a description of the vehicle, its location, and direction of travel.