To kick off the holiday season, police agencies in San Francisco are holding their first enforcement event, a sobriety checkpoint, on Saturday December 18th. The 17 day crack down on drunk driving is expected to yield nearly 100 arrests between Friday December 17th and January 2nd.
The Saturday checkpoint will be at Embarcadero at Washington Street. Another checkpoint will be held on Sunday at Lombard St. and Divisadero St. Both checkpoints are set to be enforced from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. Officers from the San Francisco Police Dept., U.S. Park Police, California Highway Patrol, San Francisco State University Police and the San Francisco Community College police will staff the checkpoints.
Al Casciato, commander of SFPD’s Traffic Company and the coordinator and founder of Avoid the 8 (SFPD’s drunk driving prevention campaign), comments “We’ve seen a gratifying drop in DUI arrests recently. Last year they stood at 86, down by 45 percent from the previous year. This tells us that people are getting the message about driving sober”. Still – over the past five years 522 people have been arrested during the holiday season crack down.
Saturation DUI patrols will be out on Christmas Day and Sunday January 2nd. All available officers will be assigned to the road on both Christmas and New Years weekends.
San Francisco’s crackdown efforts are part of a nearly statewide effort, with 41 counties and 98 percent of California participating in the “Avoid” crackdown. Drivers are reminded to call 911 on their mobile phone if they see a dangerous driver on the street or highway.