Police make 5 DUI arrests on New Year's Eve

GLENDALE — Glendale police arrested five motorists on suspicion of drunk driving during a targeted patrol on New Year's Eve.

From 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 though 4 a.m. New Year's morning, Glendale police patrolled the city for potential drunk drivers as part of the two-week "Avoid the 100" campaign, a multi-agency effort aimed at curbing drunk driving during the holidays.

"After hearing about the dangers of drinking and driving time after time, most people have gotten the message that if they're planning on drinking, they should always plan a safe way home," Glendora Police Chief Chuck Montoya said in a statement. "But sadly, millions of Americans still think they are invincible and regularly choose to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink."

Funding for the campaign came from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the statement.

During the Glendale patrol, police made 69 vehicle stops and conducted 17 field sobriety tests — five of which resulted in DUI arrests, police said.

Glendale Police Sgt. Dennis Smith said the resulting arrests were slightly below average.

"A lot of people utilized designated drivers, which we love to see," he said.

The patrol also resulted in three vehicle impounds, one drug arrest and two misdemeanor arrests, police said.

While saturation patrols allow police to target a larger geographic area and tend to result in more arrests, Smith said, specific DUI checkpoints are also an important tool.

"It sends an important message to motorists that officers are proactively looking for impaired drivers," he said.

In addition to the Avoid the 100 campaign, the California Office of Traffic Safety will unveil an Internet campaign this week encouraging responsible driving.

This week, the office's Facebook page will be posting a New Year's resolution of the week, encouraging fans to drive safer and smarter in 2011. Beginning on Jan. 6, residents can take the pledge to be a sober ride home and not use their phone while driving. The interactive pledge badge will post to each user's fan page and is shareable among friends.

"This is both a fun and serious way to take personal responsibility for safe driving," Assistant Director Chris Cochran said in a statement. "Making resolutions can be enjoyable, as we pick out those things we would like to change. At the same time, resolutions that can save lives and futures are of real consequence."

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