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Holiday DUI arrests down from 2008
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A holiday crackdown on drunk driving resulted in more than 100 arrests for driving under the influence through Monday night.
The Stanislaus County campaign of Avoid the 12 recorded 103 arrests from Dec. 18 through midnight Monday.
The Avoid the 12 campaign is funded by a three-year grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The grant, which is in its second year, is operated by the Turlock Police Department.
The efforts to deter drunk driving in Stanislaus County seems to be making some progress. The 103 arrests are down from last year, when the campaign netted 169 DUI arrests through Dec. 29, 2008, Turlock Police Officer Cristina Magana said.
Since Dec. 18, the Avoid the 12 campaign has carried out DUI crackdowns that include extra patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and probation checks to verify that people convicted of a DUI are meeting the terms of their probation and taking in those who missed their court dates.
“There are literally thousands of DUI warrants in the system. Some of the people are hoping they can put it off for a long time and not have to deal with it,” Magana said. “We’re letting the public know that if they don’t take care of it by going to court, we’re going to come find them and take them to jail where they will spend the holidays.”
Magana said violators often face additional jail time for failing to appear in court or for violating probation.  
The stepped up enforcement period will continue through Sunday.
In addition to the statewide Avoid campaigns, the California Highway Patrol conducted a maximum enforcement period from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Sunday. During that time period they recorded 16 fatalities due to driving under the influence and 970 DUI arrests. In 2008, during the same time frame, the CHP made 824 DUI arrests statewide.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.