Expect more police on the roads this weekend

Police all over the Central Valley are cracking down on DUIs

More police will be on the roads ready to catch anyone who may be celebrating the new year too much. Especially with legal recreational marijuana use on the horizon.

Fresno Police started battling the city's problem with DUIs in early December by reinstating the Bar Watch program.

The program involves plain clothes officers and uniformed officers. The plain clothes officers watch out for intoxicated people in and around drinking establishments, and notify the uniformed officers. Those agents will then follow the suspected DUI drivers.

On Saturday and Sunday, police will also have more DUI checkpoints in place. Overall, bringing an increased presence on the roads.

"We have some extra duty individuals that have been trained in DUI law enforcement that work over the weekends. All they do is saturation, which is look for areas where we've had DUIs in the past," said Capt. Michael Reid, Fresno Police's traffic enforcement commander.

Police have also been preparing for those who might be smoking pot recreationally earlier than Jan. 1 -- when Prop 64 goes into effect. Reid said police will be even more vigilant to identify the usual red flags, like swerving.

"We don't have a .08 like we do with alcohol, but with any measurable THC in your bloodstream -- plus with the impairment that we observe -- those two things couple to make a DUI," he said.

Nearly 50 people died in Fresno this year in DUI-related accidents. Reid said if that isn't enough to scare you, the cost out of pocket should.

"The first arrest on a DUI is going to cost you upwards of $10,000," said Reid. "It makes sense to spend the money on Uber, Lyft or a taxi."

Clovis Police will also be increasing the number of DUI saturation patrols this weekend.


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