DUI arrests up in Fresno, another drunk driver arrested after terrible weekend crash

FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno police officers say 38-year-old Beatriz Alvarez was still in the driver's seat Sunday night when they pulled up.

She was headed eastbound on Olive at Blackstone at around 9 p.m. when investigators say she swerved and hit a pedestrian who was on the corner.

"That suspect last night, she had a choice, and that victim standing on that corner did not have a choice in this, and that's the message. Let's make the right choice and stop driving under the influence," said Lt. Richard Tucker.

Officers say the victim was pinned between the suspect's car and the traffic light for several minutes before he was rescued by emergency crews.

The 55-year-old suffered critical and life-changing injuries.

He underwent surgery on his lower body moments after he arrived at the hospital.

Three passengers inside Alvarez's car weren't seriously hurt.

Investigators say Alvarez blew a .17 blood-alcohol level when she got out of her Toyota truck. Sunday, Fresno PD officers worked a DUI checkpoint with additional motors officers searching the city for impaired drivers.

11 people were also cited Sunday at a checkpoint at Palm and Nees.

"Sadly, I think there are more out there obviously as you see last night that need to be taken off our roadways," Tucker said.

The Fresno Police Department is continuing to expand its traffic unit after it was severely cut during the economic recession. The increase in traffic enforcement is already showing in the statistics.

In 2017, officers had 1,457 DUI arrests. But as the unit grew into 2018, officers had 2,298 arrests.

This year, even more officers are expected to be on motorcycles writing tickets to speeders and looking to save lives by seeking out drivers who are drunk or under the influence of drugs.

Alvarez was arrested on DUI causing great bodily injury. Officers say it's her first drunk driving offense.

She has bailed out of the Fresno County Jail Monday morning.