Labor Day weekend claims five DUI arrests

September 5, 2013 

ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT

Labor Day weekend saw a handful of arrests but no traffic fatalities, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officer Joel Gonzalez at the CHP's Los Banos office said there were six accidents, no fatalities and five arrests for drunken driving during the maximum enforcement period. Gonzalez said the statistics for the same weekend in 2012 included 19 accidents, no fatalities and seven DUI arrests.

The CHP held its maximum enforcement period this year from 6 p.m. Aug. 30 until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. A maximum enforcement period consists of 85 percent of the state highway patrol's officers being on duty.

"For us it doesn't matter the holiday, we're out there," Gonzalez said of the saturation patrols.

He said accidents are expected during holiday weekends because there are more people on the road. Gonzalez also said he doesn't compare one holiday to another in terms of the number of drunken drivers on the roads.

"I can't say if it's a drinking holiday," he said. "One of the things is there are more officers looking for drunk drivers."

Gonzalez said overall this year's statistics were positive. "The numbers were down. That's always a good thing," he said.

Erin Komatsubara, spokeswoman at the CHP's state headquarters, said the agency recorded 1,213 DUI arrests and 25 fatalities throughout California during the weekend. There were 1,366 DUI arrests last year and 21 fatalities during Labor Day weekend, Komatsubara said.

She declined to comment on what, if anything, the numbers during the two years mean.

— Corey Pride

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