Six people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence by police this week as part of the department's St. Patrick's Day DUI enforcement efforts.
The arrests were made between 9 a.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday. Fortunately, Merced police reported no DUI-related collisions, according to Sgt. Jay Struble.
Police beefed up their presence on the Merced streets Wednesday evening, searching for those who took their holiday revelry too far by driving drunk.
Those arrested included a repeat DUI offender, Candido Estrada, 27. Police stopped Estrada at 16th and K streets, after he was seen speeding down Main Street. Struble said Estrada has been convicted of DUI twice before and was driving on a suspended license.
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Merced police also arrested 20-year-old Edgar Valencia of Merced on suspicion of DUI. While being questioned by police, Valencia said he'd been drinking at a downtown Main Street establishment before getting behind the wheel.
He was pulled over after failing to halt at a stop sign, police said.
Because Valencia isn't of drinking age, Struble said a report will be forwarded to the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, to investigate whether the business served Valencia alcohol, Struble said.
The California Highway Patrol's Merced Area Office reported six DUI arrests Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, including one crash. No one was hurt in that crash, according to Shane Ferriera, CHP spokesman.
The crash was reported after Mariposa resident Cole Roupe, 31, was traveling westbound on Avenue 1, west of Trinidade Road near Atwater. Roupe's 2007 Ford F150 drifted to the right shoulder and hit a power pole, Ferriera said. He was booked on suspicion of drinking and driving.
No DUI arrests were reported by Merced police on St. Patrick's Day last year, Struble said.
The CHP's Merced Area Office reported 11 DUI arrests last year.