Drunk Driving Crackdown Underway in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. This is the weekend the big push starts to target drunk drivers ... one Fresno mother who lost her 13-year-old two weeks ago knows the devastation of drinking and driving. Her holiday season will never be the same.

"I took my tree out of storage and this is what we last did."

Katherine Cruz hasn't added any decorations to her tree since she and her daughter put it up the day after Thanksgiving. She wants that memory to endure because one day later her 13 year old daughter Monique was killed by a drunk driver.

Cruz said, "Her being in that car and him you know stupidious driving like that with my child in the car and other people in the car you know that was stupid and I'm angry because I want answers. I want a lot of answers. Why why did he take my baby."

Cruz will never get the opportunity to ask the driver about his choice that night ... he died in the accident along with another passenger.

Fatal accidents like this one and many others, have nearly two dozen agencies teaming up to get impaired drivers off the roads.

Officers say the past year the public has been playing a very important role in doing their part to help law enforcement.

CHP Officer Ray Huerta said, "With cell phones. You know they are accessible to everybody. And you know these are one of the exemptions ... people can call. It's an emergency call and you know call ... no matter where you are at if you see a drunk driver we will do everything we can to get that driver off the roadway."

There's been plenty of reminders why driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a good mix. CHP officers say another driver was drunk when he hit a pick-up head on last week on Whitesbridge and Polk. The driver died and several others were critically hurt.

Overall, in Fresno County accidents involving drunk drivers are down from recent years ... but the main group still to blame for most DUI wrecks is those 21 to 24 years old.

Monique's mother is trying to carry on this Christmas for her other children ... but no matter what ... something ... someone will always be missing.

"I'm going to keep her memory going and you know what, there is going to be a Christmas, somehow, someway you know. I'm going to lift those spirits up," said Cruz.

Another reason to think twice before having a few drinks and hitting the road ... the average cost of a DUI – six-thousand-dollars ... including court fees, penalties and increased insurance costs.

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