A national end of summer crackdown on drunken driving is in full swing throughout the Bay Area with DUI arrests up in some counties in the first week of the operation, traffic officials said.
The Summer/Labor Day National Anti-DUI campaign headed by county AVOID programs coordinated through the state's Office of Traffic Safety is upping law enforcement presence for 17 days, which began Aug. 17.
In San Mateo County, DUI arrests were down in the first six days of the campaign. Last year 82 arrests were made in that time period, while this year only 59 arrests were reported.
In Santa Clara County, the "Avoid the 13" campaign has netted in 124 arrests for DUIs thus far. During the same six-day period in 2011, 105 arrests were made, county campaign officials said.
On Friday a DUI checkpoint will be held in Morgan Hill followed by a series of checkpoints on Sept. 1 throughout the county.
Solano and San Mateo counties' anti-DUI campaigns saw a decrease in drunken driving arrests so far in the operation compared to arrests from 2011.
In Solano County, 12 drivers were arrested compared to 20 in 2011.
Extra patrols will be dispatched to South San Francisco and Burlingame Friday as part of the operation.
In Alameda County, a third sobriety checkpoint of the summer operation will be held Friday night at 8 p.m. at an undisclosed location, campaign officials said.
San Francisco and Alameda counties will be releasing updates on
their respective crackdowns later this week, spokeswoman Jan Ford said.
Overall state figures about the DUI campaign will not be released until the end of the operation on Sept. 3, California Office of Traffic Safety spokesman Chris Cochran said.
However, the spokesman noted that the crackdown targets drivers in August, because "it's a high DUI month" and leads into the Labor Day holiday at the start of September.
Cochran said other enforcement periods more predictably connect to higher drunken driving arrest rates, such as New Year's or the Fourth of July. Statistically, he said, some of the year's most deadly DUI days tend to fall in August each year.
— Bay City News