For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Frankel Andrew, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5881

BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT UNDERTAKES SPECIAL HOLIDAY DUI ENFORCEMENT - PUBLIC ALSO ASKED TO CALL 911 TO REPORT SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVERS

Berkeley, California (Friday, December 12, 2008) - drunk driver 911Beginning December 12, 2008 through Jan 13, 2009 the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) will join law enforcement across the state as part of California’s Holiday Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Crackdown Campaign, an effort to better protect holiday motorists from impaired drivers.  Funding for the special enforcement activities comes from a $23,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“This grant will enable us to field two DUI checkpoints during time periods which historically have seen a rise in instances of DUI,” said BPD Chief, Douglas Hambleton.   “The first will begin December 12th and run through January 3rd and the second will coincide with the Labor Day holiday.”

2007 marked the first year since 1998 in which alcohol-related fatalities declined in California, dropping 8.3 percent.  “California has worked very hard over the past five years to reverse the trend of increasing alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy.  “Through an aggressive combination of various anti-DUI operations, including sobriety checkpoints, together with the public calling 911 when they see a drunk driver, we’re getting these dangerous drivers off the road.”

The following clues can help motorists detect a drunk driver:

· Weaving/swerving in and out of, and within the lane
· Traveling at speeds much slower than the flow of traffic
· Braking erratically or stopping in the lane
· Sudden stops for signal lights and slow start once they change
· Remaining at the signal lights once they turn green – asleep at the wheel

· Making wide turns and/or cutting the corner, striking the curb
· Headlights off at night or on high beams
· Driving with the turn signals on
· Straddling the center line of the road or lane lines
· The Driver looks intoxicated – staring straight ahead, face close to the windshield, and appears to by quite sleepy.
· Aggressive Driving – speeding, tailgating and multiple lane changes or unsafe passing may also be the tell-tale signs of intoxication

The public is encouraged to call 911 to report drunk drivers and be ready to describe the vehicle; it’s location and direction of travel. 

Call Berkeley Police from your cellphone at 510-981-5911.

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