OAKDALE POLICE OUT IN FORCE: The Oakdale Police Department will devote more patrol officers to DUI enforcement while the high school is on winter break Dec. 21 to Jan. 7, police reported this week. Each Thursday to Saturday night during that span, police will have a couple of extra cars on patrol, said traffic officer Ben Savage. The holidays are typically "one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving," Police Chief Marty West said in a prepared statement. In December 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,076 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving driving under the influence.
DUI CHECKPOINT: Stanislaus County law enforcement agencies plan to set up a DUI checkpoint Friday and conduct a saturation patrol Saturday. The effort is part of the countywide "Avoid the Twelve" campaign, which targets drinking and driving around the holidays. All 12 law enforcement agencies in the county make up the strike teams, which aim to reduce alcohol-related injuries and deaths within Stanislaus County. The program targets drunken drivers around Christmas, New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day, the Stanislaus County Fair and Labor Day. This three-year effort started last year and is funded by a $516,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
MAN HURT IN WRECK: A Modesto man was in critical but stable condition after his Cadillac veered off Yosemite Boulevard and hit a tree Wednesday, authorities reported. Senen Torres, 61, did not appear to be speeding, witnesses told Modesto police. The accident happened about 12:30 p.m. just west of Riverside Drive. Torres veered into oncoming lanes while driving east in a 1982 red Cadillac, said Modesto police Sgt. Craig Gundlach, adding that he then went off the road and struck a tree. Police are investigating whether Torres might have suffered a medical condition that led to the wreck. No other cars were involved and Torres was alone in the Cadillac, Gundlach said. Torres was taken to Memorial Medical Center with internal injuries.