THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY
PATROL, with the help of Aerial Advertising Services, is taking to
the skies this weekend to drive home its anti-DUI message. Bay Area law
enforcement is again taking part in the "Avoid the 125'' campaign to
find, test and arrest those suspected of driving while intoxicated.
A SINGLE-ENGINE plane takes to the skies in an aerial assault on
drunken-driving. The California Highway Patrol has recruited Aerial Advertising
Services to fly over the Bay Area this weekend towing a banner reminding holiday
motorists not to drink and drive.
Motorists asked to 'avoid' DUIs - Bay Area roads to be blanketed by 12,000
officers over holiday weekend
By Simon Read
Friday, July 02, 2004 -
The California Highway Patrol and regional police departments will hit the Bay
Area's roadways this weekend in force, dispatching 12,000 officers to find, test
and arrest motorists suspected of driving while intoxicated.
In Alameda County, the CHP -- along with local police departments – will again
launch "Avoid the 21." Named after the 21 law enforcement agencies throughout
the county, "Avoid the 21" is an effort to remove drunken and impaired drivers
from the road.
"Avoid the 21" is part of the Bay Area's nine-county Regional Avoid Campaign,
involving 125 law enforcement agencies and funded by the California Office of
Over the Memorial Day weekend, the "Avoid" campaign netted 142 arrests for
"For many people, this is a getaway weekend," CHP Officer Steve Creel said. "For
the CHP, it's a period of maximum enforcement. Certainly, our goal is to reduce
the number of fatalities and injuries."
Creel said 45 people were killed statewide in traffic accidents over Fourth of
July weekend last year. During that same 78-hour period, the CHP made 1,497 DUI
"Independence Weekend is all about freedom," said "Avoid" spokeswoman Jan Ford.
"This weekend, people need to be free of the fear of being hurt or killed by an
Ford said that of the six major holiday periods throughout the year – Labor Day,
Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's -- Fourth
of July is the worst for DUI-related injuries.
"Independence weekend is just really nasty. It ranks second to Labor Day for
deaths," Ford said. "People think New Year's is the worst, but New Year's
actually ranks fourth out of the six."
Pleasanton Police Sgt. Donald Saulsbury neatly summed up the department's
"We're going to arrest all drunk drivers," he said. "We'll be using our usual
saturation patrol tactics to locate, stop and -- when appropriate -- arrest
people suspected of driving-under-the-influence."
Traditionally, Pleasanton has not had a problem with drunken-driving over the
Fourth of July, said Saulsbury, adding "things can be different from year to
Likewise, Livermore Police Sgt. Steve Gallagher said Livermore "doesn't
necessarily see an increase or decrease" in DUI offenses over the Fourth of
"It's pretty normal, but we always prepare for the worst," Gallagher said.
"We'll have saturation patrols. On July 3, we're conducting a DUI checkpoint in
conjunction with the CHP."
The checkpoint will take place in the North Livermore area between 5 and 9 p.m.
In Contra Costa County, the Sheriff's Department will be monitoring roadways and
waterways, spokesman Jimmy Lee said.
"In a very general sense, we will have ramped-up patrols for intoxicated
drivers," Lee said. "Traditionally, we do see a spike in intoxicated driving
during the Fourth of July. It's a big holiday weekend, and we'll be putting as
many people on the streets as possible."
Lee said the department's marine patrol will be sweeping the Delta "in force."
"This time of year, we do see an increase in boating-under-the-influence
accidents and reckless boating," Lee said.
CHP Sgt. Wayne Ziese said officers are ready for what could be a busy weekend.
"We'll be spending time putting people in jail," Ziese said. "We don't want to
do it, but the alternative is completely unacceptable."
The CHP has hired the services of an aerial advertising company to fly over the
Bay Area towing banners reminding people not to drink and drive.
"They'll be flying around populated areas, trying to drive home the message to
think about designated drivers," Ziese said. "We've used high-tech measures and
partnered with the media to get our message out. This is a way to hit tens of
thousands of people as they drive their cars."