Fresno Police make 12 DUI arrests on New Year's Eve

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Police had a busy New Year's Eve as they stepped up patrols to make sure everyone drove into 2020 safely.

On New Year's Eve night, they made a little more than 150 stops with only about a dozen DUI arrests.

Police had 12 DUI arrests which they say is pretty typical for a regular weekend, but it's a lot lower for a holiday.

They say a few things could have played a factor like cold weather and ride-sharing.

"I think the object is to have a low number," says Fresno Police Sgt. Gary Beer.

Through saturation patrols, neighborhood traffic units and extra officers they were able to deter intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel.

Only a dozen DUI arrests were made.

Despite the low number, Beer says it's pretty close to other years.

"I don't think I have ever seen more than 16. 16 is probably the highest number I've seen," he says.

In addition, 22 cars were impounded, about half for drunk driving and the other half for invalid or no license.

This time, police didn't stage checkpoints and Beer says if they had, arrests would have probably been lower since drivers would have tried to avoid them.

The biggest achievement was entering 2020 with no fatal car accidents in the city.

"Our motto here is you are going to plan to have a party and buy chips and drinks and everything, plan to have a ride home," Beer says.

Many of those rides are provided through UBER and Lyft.

Wayne Stonecipher drives for both.

He's had a busy holiday season.

"People are just not wanting to drive, they don't want to get in trouble, I think they are just driving smarter," he says.

He and Beer agree ride-sharing apps have contributed to a decrease in drunk driving.

"$8 - $12 is a lot cheaper than somebody dying," he says.

The twelve people who were arrested could face a fine of up to $1000, license suspension and even jail time.
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