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Petaluma Police Department
Thursday June 28th, 2012 :: 09:26 a.m. PDT

Sonoma County Law Enforcement DUI Task Force Cracking Down On Impaired Drivers This Fourth of July

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Law Enforcement DUI Task Force Cracking Down
On Impaired Drivers This Fourth of July

[Sonoma County, CA] – Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

That’s why this Fourth of July the Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force is stepping up enforcement efforts as part of the ongoing “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement crackdown to catch and arrest impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk.

“The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in impaired-driving fatalities,” said Petaluma Police Lieutenant Tim Lyons. “Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers.”

The DUI Task Force has planned two checkpoints between Friday June 29, 2012 and Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Special DUI Saturations Patrols will be deployed on Tuesday and Wednesday each evening late into the night, along with additional DUI patrols the weekend before and after the holiday. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, many in our community will be taking the rest of the week off so DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols will be out in force throughout the weekend.

Impaired-driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That’s an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 51 minutes.

Often Fourth of July celebrations start during the day, but last well into the night – making the dangers from impaired drivers even higher at night.

“The amount of alcohol that one can consume during a day-long party or celebration can drastically impair the motor skills needed to drive safely,” said Lieutenant Lyons. “Add the fact that many others may be out driving impaired, and that visual skills also decrease at night, and you have a recipe for disaster.”

The Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force reminds everyone that there are numerous consequences as a result of being caught driving impaired, such as the risk of killing or harming others, jail time, insurance hikes, potential loss of driver’s license, just to name a few.

The Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force recommends these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July:
• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate, Report Drunk Drivers! Call 911;
• And remember, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Funding for the Avoid Campaign is from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information on regional/statewide Avoid DUI Task Force campaigns, Enforcement Schedules and Daily DUI Arrest/Fatality statistics, visit the and The Avoid Campaign will deploy sobriety checkpoints and DUI patrols again during the August/Labor Day DUI Mobilization beginning August 17th.

Avoid the 13 - Sonoma County
DUI Enforcement Operations

Sobriety/Drivers License Checkpoint:
Friday, June 29, 2012, City of Petaluma – Location will not be disclosed to public.
Tuesday, July 3rd, AVOID Checkpoint - Location will not be disclosed to the public.

Task Force Operations: None Scheduled

County-wide DUI Saturation Patrols:
Friday, June 29, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Tuesday/Wednesday, July 3-4
Friday, July 6, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012

California Highway Patrol Maximum Enforcement Period: CHP will assign all available officers to the region’s freeways, state highways and unincorporated roads beginning 6 PM Tuesday through midnight Wednesday.

MEDIA NOTES: To schedule an interview regarding impaired driving efforts and programs in California please contact Chris Cochran, California Office of Traffic Safety at (916) 509-3063 or via email at


The Petaluma Police Department serves as the lead agency for the regional DUI enforcement efforts in Sonoma County to reduce alcohol-involved fatalities and injuries and raise general public awareness regarding the problems associated with drinking and driving. Participating agencies include 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, and the California Highway Patrol. Grant funded activities include DUI checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols, DUI Task Force Operations and Warrant/Court Sting operations for repeat DUI offenders during the Memorial Day, Fourth of July, August-Labor Day Mobilization, Winter Holiday Mobilization, and other designated Special Events and holidays with identified DUI problems. AVOID the 13 is a collaborative enforcement and education effort between the 13 law enforcement agencies in Sonoma County. For further information go to

CONTACT: Officer Ron Klein
Petaluma Police Department – Traffic Team
707.776.3720 office

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Petaluma Police Department
969 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-778-4372

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