Stockton - In collaboration with CHP-Stockton, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, Stockton Police Department, Tracy Police Department, Lodi Police Department, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, Manteca Police Department, and Ripon Police Department held a press conference today regarding the enforcement of DUIs and reckless driving heading into the Holiday Weekend.
Safe and Sober In light of recent tragic vehicle related accidents, local law enforcement agencies have implemented a countywide effort to bring further awareness to the enforcement and consequences of driving under the influence. Numerous agencies will be increasing patrols specifically for DUI-related enforcement and conducting checkpoints funded by grants from the Office of Traffic Safety. In addition, funds allocated by Governor Gavin Newsom will ensure an increase of patrol and educational programming surrounding crash reduction and reckless driving.
"My office is proud to partner with our local law enforcement agencies to combat reckless driving and those who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs," said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. "This is a community-wide issue that needs community-wide action to address. Do not let your friends drink and drive, call a ridesharing service or taxi, and be proactive in planning your night out."
"In 2019, nearly 30 people died every single day as a result of drunk driving in the United States," said Attorney General Rob Bonta. "These deaths are preventable, but it's up to each one of us to do our part. Do not drink and drive. Plan ahead this holiday weekend. Impaired driving - whether it's due to alcohol or controlled substances - puts more than just your life at risk. It threatens the safety of your passengers and other people on the road. The California Department of Justice is proud to stand with our partners across the state in their efforts to protect Californians from reckless driving."
"The men and women of the CHP-Stockton Area are committed to saving lives by reducing the number of injury and fatal crashes occurring in San Joaquin County," said CHP Commander Shann Setter. "Please help us by being a safe and responsible drive, and do not hesitate to designate a sober driver!"
"The Stockton Police Department is working tirelessly to spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving and to remind all drivers: If you plan to drink alcohol, plan ahead for a sober ride home," said Stockton Police Captain Joshua Doberneck. "We remind drivers that DUI doesn't just mean alcohol. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI."
"The Sheriff's Office encourages all drivers to slow down, eliminate distractions, and designate a sober driver. We will continue to work with our partners to investigate these incidents to ensure public safety and hold violators responsible to the fullest extent of the law," said Sheriff's Office Special Services Division Captain Ryan Biedermann.
"The Lodi Police Department is committed to keeping our community safe and we encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly this holiday weekend," said Lodi Police Chief Sierra Brucia. "We will have additional officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This extra enforcement effort is a part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
"The men and women of the Manteca Police Department ask that everyone takes a role in preventing these senseless tragedies," said Manteca Police Chief Mike Aguilar. "Please use designated drivers, taxis or ride share options if you have had too much to drink. Please do not let your friends, family or acquaintances put themselves or anyone else in danger. Let us celebrate the New Year by taking care of each other and preventing these senseless tragedies."
"The Tracy Police Department is dedicated to reducing the number of accidents and DUI's in our area. We conduct random DUI check points, provide extra staffing for DUI saturation patrols and our Traffic Enforcement Unit is constantly working in areas frequently known for traffic violations," said Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington. "Our communities are our eyes and we're depending on you to helps us reduce this rising trend. We need you to call 9-1-1 if you see or are aware of someone driving impaired or drunk."
Driving under the influence has severe impacts on our communities. According to statistics provided by the CHP, over 17,000 people are killed every year in alcohol-related traffic collisions. DUIs are also costly to those arrested- the total approximate expenses being over $13,000 in legal fees, driver license reinstatements, DUI classes, and more. Resources and information, as well as public awareness programs, can be found at CHP.ca.gov/programs-services. In addition to CHP, law enforcement agencies encourage the public to visit Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)'s website, MADD.org, on how to address impaired driving with loved ones.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office is grateful for the continued partnership with the community and local law enforcement agencies.
Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!