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Posted on 01.03.2013 12:25 a.m.

‘Avoid the 12’ Holiday DUI Crackdown Ends with 147 Arrests, No Fatalities

Source: Sgt. Kevin Huddle for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department

The 2012-13 Winter Holiday DUI Mobilization crackdown on impaired drivers has ended and resulted in a significant number of DUI arrests from the sobriety checkpoints, special saturation patrols and routine patrol within Santa Barbara County during the Avoid the 12 DUI campaign for the past 19 days.

From 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14 through midnight Tuesday, Jan. 1, officers representing 12 county law enforcement agencies have arrested 147 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In 2011-12, 154 DUI arrests occurred during the same time period. During the 2012-13 winter campaign, there was not a DUI-related fatality. Last year there was one alcohol-related death during the year end campaign.

Note: These numbers are only provisional with some agencies yet to report or coroner reports pending.

Law enforcement officials will be conducting more Avoid DUI operations throughout the county during Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3) and then again for local St. Patrick’s Day festivities in March. Police, sheriff’s and CHP officials encourage all motorists to help law enforcement every day by report drunken drivers. Call 9-1-1 anytime you encounter an impaired driver.

DUI checkpoints, along with regularly scheduled high-visibility DUI enforcement, are proven strategies with the goal of removing impaired drivers from the road and heightening awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sobriety checkpoint programs can yield considerable cost savings: $6 for every $1 spent.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Avoid the 12 is named for the 12 law enforcement agencies within Santa Barbara County that work together to combat impaired driving.

— Kevin Huddle is a sergeant for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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