In an effort to crack down on DUI-related collisions in the City of Fresno, Police Chief Jerry Dyer has re-introduced a controversial program called Bar Watch.
The program will involve plain clothes officers and uniformed officers. The plain clothes officers will watch out for intoxicated people in and around drinking establishments, and notify the uniformed officers. Those agents will then follow the suspected DUI drivers.
Fresno Police started the Bar Watch program on Friday night. Officials said they followed ten people out, and pulled over eight, but none of them were driving under the influence. Police said Bar Watch will continue every weekend through the holiday season, so expect to see an influx of police presence around drinking establishments.
Officer Chris Reddy stated, “We want people to come out and have fun, we want people to enjoy themselves, but we want people to do it safely and responsibly.”
Reddy was out on Saturday night, patrolling around Fresno looking out for DUI drivers.
“Speeding, failure to yield, using cell phone, seatbelt violations,” described Reddy of the signs of distracted driving that can be related to driving under the influence.
Fresno Police is cracking down on DUI drivers and traffic collisions. They said 48 people have died in DUI traffic crashes just this year alone, compared to 32 this time last year.
Amber Grubb is a bartender at Detention in the Tower District. She said she hopes the program, alongside the ongoing DUI checkpoints around the city, will stop drunk people from getting behind the wheel.
She said, “It’s not hard for me to cut people off, because I want people to be safe. I want to be safe.”