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Expect a Holiday Crackdown on Drunken Driving

Law enforcement agencies in Marin will make a special focus on drunken and impaired driving from Dec. 14 through Jan. 1.

When you hear about a local DUI checkpoint, is your first question "Where are they gonna set it up?" Some of you will say yes to that. Why? What are you worried about?

Marin law enforcement agencies will be out in full force for the holidays with DUI checkpoints and increased patrols, but they're not going to have flashing neon signs telling you exactly where and when. That would sort of defeat the purpose, right?

We know there will be one Dec. 21 in Novato. It's likely a lot of young people will be back home for the holiday season and getting together to party. 

Marin sheriff's deputies, as well as local police departments and the California Highway Patrol plan to deploy officers for Christmas and New Years weekends. The enforcement crackdown will run from Dec. 14 through Jan. 1.

“Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season, enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and we want everyone to be safe on our roadways,” San Rafael Police Chief Diana Bishop said in a release. “That’s why we will be stepping up enforcement to catch and arrest impaired drivers. Please be forewarned. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”

In 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving an impaired driver. In California, 791 people were killed. During December 2010, 30 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic collisions involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

“No one ever thinks that their holiday celebration will end in jail, or worse, in a hospital or the morgue,” Bishop said. “But for those who include alcohol in their celebrations and then get behind the wheel, this is too often the case.”

Schedule of DUI checkpoints:

  • Friday, Dec. 14 in San Rafael from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 21 in Novato (hours TBA)
  • Friday, Dece. 28 in San Rafael from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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