Those who soak up the last fun of the summer by drinking or taking drugs and getting behind the wheel are the target of a Labor Day weekend DUI crackdown across the nation.
The holiday weekend enforcement blitz in San Francisco started this morning, Aug. 31, and continues until midnight Monday, Sept. 3.
"There are four ways you can protect yourself in traffic," says San Francisco Police Department's Traffic Captain Greg Corrales, Avoid the 14 chairman. "Hang up, buckle up, slow down, and drive sober."
The crackdown is part of a nationwide summer DUI prevention effort sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness.
Avoid the 14, named for the 14 law enforcement agencies in San Francisco, made 32 DUI arrests over the long Labor Day weekend for the past two years. No one died in either year.
Police in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area saw a 20 percent rise in arrests last Labor Day weekend, compared with the previous year. Four died regionally, compared with one. New provisional statistics from the CHP show a 31 percent drop in San Francisco DUI injury crashes in the five years ending in 2006. DUI fatalities rose from 10 to 14.
Police hit the roads again for a 19-day crackdown starting Dec. 14.
The California Office of Traffic Safety funds Avoid the 14 through NHTSA. There are 34 other countywide Avoid campaigns in California.