booze.jpgArrests for driving under the influence and traffic deaths over the holiday weekend are down compared to last year, according to numbers released by the California Highway Patrol Monday.

In the period spanning from 6 p.m. Dec. 24 through midnight on Dec. 26, Bay Area CHP officers made 115 DUI arrests, down from 195 for the same period last year.

Across the state, CHP officers nabbed 658 drivers for drunken driving, which is also a drop from the 1104 arrests for the same period in 2009.

Traffic deaths statewide were just a fraction of what they were last year, with just a single fatality this year versus 15 from last year.

During the next maximum enforcement period, up to 80 percent of all available uniformed officers will be out in force for the New Year’s holiday, according to the CHP.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officers in Solano County will target the “Worst of the Worst” DUI offenders, including among others, those who disobey court orders not to drive without a valid license.

Officers with the Avoid the Solano 10 campaign will monitor court proceedings and individuals leaving the county court, according to an announcement by the campaign.

Offenders will face additional trips to court, fines, and possible jail time for failing to obey court and Department of Motor Vehicles orders not to drive without a license.

Arrests were also down in San Mateo County over a 10-day period leading up to the holiday weekend, with 91 DUI arrests this year compared to 129 arrests last year, according to the Avoid the 23 San Mateo County DUI campaign.

In Santa Clara County, officers made 331 DUI arrests in the 10-day period from Dec. 17 through Dec. 26, compared to 393 from the same period in 2009.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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