Santa Rosa police step up Cinco de Mayo DUI enforcement

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Santa Rosa police will have extra DUI patrols in place on Cinco de Mayo in order to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment.

The special patrols will operate in the city from 8 p.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday, according to a press release.

“The average DUI costs about $10,000,” the press release stated, citing such expenses as attorney fees, court costs, higher insurance rates and lost wages as a result of time off work. “Wouldn’t you rather pay for a ride home?”

Officers won’t limit their efforts to arresting those using alcohol. Driving under the influence includes impairment caused by alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs or a combination of such substances.

Police urged Cinco de Mayo revelers to plan beforehand to designate a sober driver, which could include a taxi driver or a ride share operator with such companies as Uber and Lyft.

As another option, AAA this weekend is offering a free “Tipsy Tow” service where impaired drivers in Northern California can have their cars towed up to 10 miles home. Drivers or those on their behalf can call 800-222-4357 between 6 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday and ask for a “Tipsy Tow.” The service is available for AAA members and nonmembers.

The efforts are aimed at saving lives. Santa Rosa police reported that in 2016, on average someone died every 50 minutes in a drunken-driving crash.

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