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What's Behind the High Number of Summer DUIs?

The weather is good and the livin' is easy. Except when you get stopped by the police.

The number of people driving under the influence in Sonoma County has long been a problem.

But during summer months the problem takes on a new magnitude.

In July, 32 people were arrested in Petaluma for driving drunk. That’s more than one every single day of the month. In June, 26 people were arrested. In comparison only 16 people were arrested in March and 19 in February.

What gives?

Part of the answer is that more people are out, attending barbeques, concerts and parties where alcohol is plenty. The other is that three of Petaluma Police Department's four special enforcement operations targeting drunk drivers are in the summer, from Memorial to Labor Day. 

What do you think is behind the summer spike in DUIs? Are do you think checkpoints are an effective way to stop drunk drivers?

Sandi Melia September 13, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Keep making arrests for DUI's! I think the cars should be taken on first offence. Penalty should be far greater. Drunks simply DO NOT grasp the concept of DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. If they did they would not continue doing it as they more often than not continue to do. They don't seem to care if they have a DL or not. Makes me very angry!
Liz Kolarik September 13, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I lost my sister to a drunk driver. She was 9 months pregnant and the baby did not survive either. What does it take for people to stop doing it? I would think with all of the education that younger kids get these days that it would slow down. Sadly, it appears that I am very wrong.
Active Thinker September 13, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I agree with both comments above. Arrest them and take the car...
Annita September 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
What is behind the DUIs? Drinking by people out of school for the summer and others who hate to hear talk unrelated to subject. Oh, and of course, the wine "culture". In Europe wine is not a status symbol.
Annita September 13, 2012 at 06:51 PM
You have to be a criminal or have a lot of money to specialize in DUIs. They should be investigated like it's murder, because in some cases that is true. DNA and criminal data base entry, names checked with hospital patients, and of course, Federal tax return check-up with bank accounts.
Annita September 13, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Do something about it and you might feel better. I mouth off and think about solutions; it helps with the lifelong pain caused by drunks.
Adorabelle September 13, 2012 at 06:58 PM
The other day I looked out my window and there were 3 cop cars with 3 officers and a guy sitting on the ground handcuffed behind his vehicle. I could hear the conversation and the guy was slurring his words so bad you could tell he was under the influence. The offices did a pat-down, shined lights in his eyes, etc. When all was said and done they let him go. The guy drove away only to come back and park and enter the house 2 doors down from that sells drugs at all hours of the day and night. So the guy is obviously under the influence yet they let him go and let him drive and never even gave him a field sobriety test or anything. Come to find out my next door neighbor saw him staggering around drunk in front of the "drug" house then he pulled his car in front of the house across the street from me and the home owner there called the police because he was asleep in his car for quite sometime. I have to say I was shocked that he was let go! And this was Petaluma PD. Law enforcement needs to be tougher on intoxicated drivers. More arrests and sobriety check points. Yes impounding the car but there are still ways to get another vehicle.
Adorabelle September 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Trust me, they don't do much about the drug house. It's been going on for years and years. The neighborhood is constantly calling them and nothing is really done. Oh a simple arrest for something else put the guy in jail for 3 months..........I have to say it was nice and quiet then. But all the police ever say is they can't do anything, the feds have to get involved. The Petaluma PD even pulled over my daughters friends after they dropped her off at home and they pulled out of our driveway and were pulled over 3 houses down and questioned by the cops asking where they were, what house where they in, etc. Freaked them out because they had no idea what was going on. But again, that's all the PD ever does, no real arrests for drugs, possession, etc. And druggies are in and out of the house 24/7. The saddest part is his elderly mother lives out of ther master bedroom and doesn't do a thing. Though she did have a rude awakening when the son was in jail for 3 months (not drug related) and she found his druggy friends slipping in and out of her house and living in "his" bedroom. I just don't get it or understand it.
Sandi Melia September 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Adorabelle perhaps you should call the Feds or ask PPD directly what you can do to solve this problem. Or get a neighborhood group going & see what you can do together . That is unexceptable to have going on in your neighborhood, period end of story!
Annita September 13, 2012 at 09:16 PM
This lady rocks! http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/
Annita September 13, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Right on Sandi. Sometimes local enforcement hands are tied, sometimes the people in the house ARE undercover, etc. Most important... keep your kids away and let them know to stay out of it; last resort? MOVE.
Annita September 13, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Get involved in politics! Call State Senators to get DEA action. In this case it's Democrat: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/
Sandi Melia September 13, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Sorry Annita I was simply suggesting... When we know better we do better. If you know DO IT!

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