A total of 106 drivers have been arrested for drunken or drugged driving in Stanislaus County during the summer "Avoid the 12" operation since Aug. 15.
The county's 12 law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on DUI drivers and also netted the arrests of 100 persons for outstanding DUI warrants.
During the same enforcement period in 2013, 136 DUI arrests occurred.
Last year there were no DUI deaths in Stanislaus County during the same enforcement period. However, this year there were several deaths attributed to a drunk driver in the area. A week ago the California Highway Patrol handled a solo fatal collision near Patterson where all four occupants in the vehicle were killed. It is believed alcohol impairment contributed to this collision.
On Saturday, the CHP responded to another fatal collision on I-5 near Stuhr Road where a driver lost control of a vehicle in excess of 85 mph and overturned, ejecting and killing an 11-year-old passenger. Three other passengers sustained major injuries. The driver, 47-year-old Guillermo Graciano of Lodi was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of driving under the influence and murder.
In 2012, there were 10,322 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the United States.
California's death toll stood at 802 that year.
The Stanislaus County Avoid the 12 DUI Task Force and thousands of law enforcement agencies around the country teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the high-visibility enforcement campaign this year. The annual effort aims to reduce drunk driving year-round, not just on those few days. The campaign may be over, but the warning remains: ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."
Law enforcement officials will be conducting more anti-DUI efforts throughout the county and region again during Halloween and Thanksgiving Eve before planning for the December Winter DUI Mobilization.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Police encourage all motorists to help report drunk drivers when they are encountered by calling 911.