Only four arrests made during anti-DUI campaign
Drunken driving arrests during the 2011-12 Avoid the 9 Winter Holiday DUI Mobilization crackdown were up nearly 68 percent over last year, but the Colusa County Jail was nearly empty.
One alcohol-related fatality in the three-county campaign area was reported in Yuba County, officials reported.
Fifty-seven arrests were made between 12:01 a.m. Dec. 16 and 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Day, up from 34 during the same period in the 2010-11 campaign, reported Marysville police Sgt. Chirs Sachs.
The Marysville Police Department is the lead agency in the Avoid the 9 campaign.
Colusa County had just four arrests during the campaign, with two those coming over the New Year's weekend, officials reported.
During the 17-day campaign, communities in Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties were targeted with sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.
In Colusa County, two saturation patrol events were held, both in the Williams area.
During the New Year's holiday, from 6 p.m. Dec. 30 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, the California Highway Patrol reported 13 fatalities statewide, including one pedestrian killed and one motorcyclist.
Fatalities are down from 16 for the same time period, said CHP Public Information Officer John Waggoner.
Of the 11 vehicle fatalities, 10 were not wearing a seat belt, he said.
In the Northern Division, which includes Colusa County, there was one fatality, down from two last year.
Statewide DUI arrests were up for the New Year's holiday, from 961 last year to 1,181, Waggoner said.
There were 50 arrests in the Northern Division, up from 43 last year.
During the Christmas holiday, from 6 p.m. Dec. 23 to 11:59 p.m. Dec. 26, the California Highway Patrol reported 10 fatal accidents.
It was not known if alcohol played any part in the accidents. Half the people killed were not wearing safety belts, the CHP said.
That compares to one fatal last year when there was a single fatal accident and 658 arrests over the Christmas holiday.
Additionally, there were 980 drunken driving arrests.
In the Northern Division, there was one fatality and 43 arrests over the Christmas holiday, compared to no fatalities last year, and just 22 arrests, the CHP reported.
Law enforcement officials will be conducting more Avoid DUI operations throughout the region during Super Bowl Sunday in February, and then again for local St. Patrick's Day festivities in March.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The federal agency reports sobriety checkpoint programs can yield considerable cost savings: $6 for every $1 spent.