Santa Barbara County Statistics - First Weekend of Holiday Enforcement
DUI Arrests Down 21% in Santa Barbara County As Avoid the 12 Reports Results of First Weekend
CHP Maximum Freeway Enforcement Starts Friday
Police in Santa Barbara County snapped the handcuffs around the wrists of 30 people suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the first weekend of the 19-day Avoid the 12 crackdown on impaired drivers.
The effort ends on New Year’s Day.
This is 21% below last year’s total of 38 at this time during the campaign, said Deputy Win Smith of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Avoid the 12 coordinator.
Two alcohol-related injury crashes are on the books, one on Friday in the CHP Santa Barbara office’s jurisdiction and the other Saturday recorded by the Santa Barbara Police Dept. No one has died at the hands of a drunk or drugged driver.
Officers from several of Avoid the 12’s departments held a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday night in Lompoc, screening 563 drivers and making four DUI arrests. They towed the cars of 10 drivers who had no licenses or suspended licenses.
At the checkpoint, which was held on southbound lanes of North H Street, a motorcycle officer noticed a vehicle traveling in the northbound lane.
“As the vehicle got near the cones, the driver stopped and looked like he was trying to figure a way out of the checkpoint that he wasn’t in,” reported Smith. “He finally turned into a liquor store parking lot, where officers arrested him on DUI charges.”
Beyond that, said Smith, “an officer not assigned to the checkpoint was watching other officers place the cones and signs when he noticed unusual driving, stopped the vehicle and found the driver to be a DUI suspect.”
CHP officers start their Christmas weekend maximum enforcement period on Friday, Dec. 21, ending on Christmas night. Nearly all available officers will be assigned to freeway patrol, said Capt. Jeff Sgobba of the Santa Barbara CHP office.
The California Office of Traffic Safety funds Avoid the 12 through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.