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Super Bowl Sunday DUI crackdown announced by Citrus Heights police

In a news release issued this week Citrus Heights police announced their “game plan” for Super Bowl Sunday: to deploy extra teams of officers on the streets to specifically seek, stop, and arrest intoxicated drivers.

Called DUI “saturation patrols,” police said the additional enforcement officers will be out during and after the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, searching for drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Police also advised those planning on drinking to designate a sober driver ahead of time, or utilize options like a taxi or Uber.

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According to police statistics, there were 340 DUI arrests in Citrus Heights last year and 73 DUI-related collisions. Six people were also killed on Citrus Heights roadways last year, with police previously confirming at least half involved alcohol on the part of the driver.

The Citrus Heights Police Department says it announces enforcement efforts in advance to raise public awareness of DUI crackdowns, in an attempt to cause drivers to “think twice” about operating a vehicle while drunk.

Although CHPD is known for conducting regularly publicized DUI checkpoints in the city, police did not mention plans for a checkpoint operation this weekend, focusing on saturation patrols instead.

[Related: 2015 stats show 19% drop in Citrus Heights DUI crashes, but fatalities rise]

As previously reported on The Sentinel, saturation patrols tend to result in a higher number of arrests than checkpoints, due to a difference in goals, according to CHPD spokesman Anthony Boehle.

In a prior statement, Boehle said checkpoints are primarily about public awareness, explaining that the more people know about heavy crackdowns on DUIs, the less likely they are to attempt a drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While highly visible checkpoints may arrest a small number of drunk drivers each year, Boehle said a single saturation patrol car can make more arrests in one night than a checkpoint can during the same period.

A 2006 study paid for by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported alcohol-related crashes dropped significantly in various jurisdictions, after increased, high-publicity DUI campaigns involving saturation patrols, checkpoints, and other operations were conducted.

[Document: NHTSA_DUI_Case_Studies_2006.pdf]

Police said funding for the Super Bowl DUI crackdown operation comes from a California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant, through the NHTSA. CHPD announced last November it had received a $236,190 OTS grant to help fund a year-long program of safety-related efforts, including DUI checkpoints and distracted driving enforcement.

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