Half as many DUI arrests over this year’s Fourth of July weekend in Stanislaus County

Authorities arrested 20 people on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs over the Fourth of July weekend in Stanislaus County. There were more than twice as many DUI arrests last year during the same holiday weekend.

The arrests were part of a countywide campaign designed to pull drunken drivers off the road and keep other impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. The campaign, known as Avoid the 12, represents all 12 law enforcement agencies in the county.

Avoid the 12 enforcement is funded by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety, and the local enforcement is coordinated by the Ceres Police Department.

Six saturation patrols were deployed over the weekend in Modesto, Ceres and Turlock. The patrols are made up of officers assigned solely to look for impaired drivers.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department also beefed up its patrols at Modesto and Woodward reservoirs, and Modesto police and the California Highway Patrol conducted their own DUI patrols over the weekend.

Ceres police Sgt. Chris Perry said 18 people were arrested on DUI-related warrants as part of the holiday enforcement. Perry said no DUI-related deaths were reported this year.

Last year, 44 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI over a five-day Fourth of July weekend. This year’s holiday enforcement was conducted over four days and ended Sunday night.

The next large-scale Avoid the 12 enforcement effort in the county will occur during an 18-day summer campaign that starts in August and runs through Labor Day weekend.