After a weekend of fireworks, barbecues and for some an extra day off of work, the statistics are in. Before the Independence Day holiday, we reported that cops would be on the lookout for East Bay 4th of July DUIs. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been implementing a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) for years, and this year was no different. This year, the CHP's Independence Day MEP began at 6 p.m. on July 3rd, and continued through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5th.
Despite the announcement, also noted on our blog, that the CHP would be conducting DUI checkpoints in an unincorporated part of Contra Costa County, and across the state over the holiday weekend, the CHP still made approximately 930 arrests for driving under the influenced statewide over the weekend. This number is down from last year, when 1,343 people were arrested for DUIs. However, part of that decrease in the number of arrests may be due to the 4th falling on a Saturday, which effectively cuts the 4th of July weekend down from a three-day to a two-day event.
Fewer people died over July 4th weekend as well, compared to last year. In 2014, 32 people died in traffic accidents compared to 26 over the 2015 holiday weekend. Again, the CHP noted that the 2015 4th of July was 24 hours shorter than in 2014. However, despite the shorter holiday enforcement period, other nearby counties saw an increase in DUI arrests. In Santa Clara County, where 13 different county agencies participated in checkpoints and saturation patrols, 60 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI. In 2014, a similar operation resulted in 45 DUI arrests.
According to the CHP, during a Maximum Enforcement Period the department proactively deploys the maximum number of officers to “address primary collision factor violations, impaired drivers, and assure a prompt response to any incident causing a hazard or traffic delay.” The primary objective of the MEP program is to reduce traffic related deaths involving reckless and impaired drivers. Ultimately, the state is aiming for zero roadway deaths.
In Oakland, however; the holiday weekend brought more than just increased arrests for driving under the influence. A number of shootings took place over the weekend, including one incident resulting in the death of a young Oakland resident. Fred Brooks, a 22-years-old, was taken to the San Leandro hospital with a gunshot wound around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday night. He later died of his injuries.
At least three other people were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds in reportedly separate events. A 24-year-old woman was apparently walking down the sidewalk when she heard gunshots, and realized she'd been hit. She was then taken to the hospital. A 17-year-old girl and 27-year-old woman were taken to the hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning. The three shooting victims are all reportedly in stable condition.
While the Fourth of July is a time for celebration, alcohol can often cloud our judgment, and the next thing you know, you may be under arrest for driving under the influence. However, you don't have to let an arrest lead to a conviction. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her professional legal career to defending people facing a DUI in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of DUI defense experience, your East Bay DUI defense attorney understands how to get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed.