Fresno Police increase patrols on busy streets to crack down on DUIs

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thanks to a life-saving grant issued by the State Office of Traffic Safety, additional police officers will be deployed to fight the growing amount of DUI cases this holiday season

Officers will be out patrolling high traffic areas until 4 a.m.

We'll see more operations like this in the coming months as the holidays are coming, which means there will be a higher volume of DUI related crashes.

As we learn more about the horrific crash that killed two people outside of Tranquillity, law enforcement officers are on high alert for DUI offenders.

According to CHP toxicology reports for Silvia Gonzales, the driver believed to have caused the crash, came back positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.

RELATED: Meth and marijuana to blame for deadly Fresno crash that claimed two lives, police say

"We've seen a dramatic upswing in the use of not only recreational but medicinal marijuana we've seen a 200 percent increase from last year," said California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Salas.

This year alone, CHP has made more than 150 drug-related DUI arrests, which is a steep increase from the 50 arrests made last year.

"It's not only alarming to us as law enforcement it should be alarming to the general motoring public," said Salas.

Statewide numbers from 2017 show more than 1,100 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes and 15 of those were in Fresno.

Officer John Belli says that year Fresno PD investigated 360 DUI collisions.

"Our total DUIs in comparison to 2018 this time have actually dropped slightly and our arrests are up," said Belli.

January through September of 2019, Fresno Police have seen 299 DUI related traffic collisions and 12 of those involved fatalities.

"Plan on seeing a lot more DUI checkpoints and saturations with the upcoming holiday months and all through 2020," said Belli.

Thanks to this life-saving grant from the office of traffic safety, officers will be in high volume areas on Friday looking for suspected DUI drivers.

"It always goes back to making good decisions," said Belli.

Studies show the costs of a DUI and expenses related to it surpass $10,000, but police are warning all drivers -- it can cost someone their life.
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