Sonoma County drivers have extra reason not to drive impaired, as 13 law enforcement agencies in the region will be stepping up DUI patrols and checkpoints as part of a state grant.
The Petaluma Police Department will administer a $350,000 grant for DUI enforcement in Sonoma County, the department said in a press release this weekend.
The grant will fund DUI and driver's license checkpoints, DUI task forces using multiple agencies, DUI "saturation patrols" and courthouse stings to catch DUI offenders with suspended licenses "who drive home from court hearings after being ordered not to by a judge," the press release states.
Checkpoints will make up a large part of the enforcement, the press release states.
"Crashes involving alcohol have been shown drop by up to 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough," Petaluma Police said in the statement. "According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent, and are supported by nearly 90 percent of California drivers."
DUI campaigns will be held on Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, during local events with a history of DUI problems, and during other holiday periods.
According to the press release, the 13 law enforcement agencies participating in the increased enforcement are: "Police Departments from the cities of Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Windsor, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, Sonoma County Probation Department, Sonoma State University Police Department, Santa Rosa Junior College Police Department, ABC, MADD, the California Highway Patrol, and California State Parks."