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Fewer DUI arrests in Turlock, more statewide, over holiday weekend
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The campaign to prevent drunk driving collisions and fatalities appears to be working as Stanislaus County recorded a dip in arrests for the third straight year.

Over the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend law enforcement officials arrested 59 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Turlock Police Department, the agency overseeing the county’s Avoid the 12 program.

In 2009 there were 68 DUI arrests over the same time period and 72 in 2008.

Memorial Day weekend alcohol involved deaths and injuries over the past three years have dropped dramatically by over 26 percent from Memorial Day weekends from 2007 to 2009, Turlock Police Sgt. Nino Amirfar said.

Over the holiday weekend the Avoid the 12 program conducted six DUI saturation patrols and one sobriety checkpoint, in addition to officers on routine patrol focused more attention to finding impaired drivers.

Statewide DUI arrests were up, with the California Highway Patrol reporting 1,541 people arrested during this year’s holiday weekend, compared to 1,465 last year. Traffic deaths over the holiday weekend were significantly lower across the state with 17 this year, compared to 45 last year.

“Police, sheriff and CHP officers’ multi-year efforts to combat the crime of drunk driving is a large factor in reversing the trend of increasing deaths on California’s streets and highways,” said Chris Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “But I believe that every community member’s effort to get involved and reporting drunk drivers has helped save lives as well.  If you see a drunk driver — don’t hesitate, call 911.”

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.