FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Central Valley law enforcement agencies are saturating the roadways ahead of what can be a deadly holiday weekend.
The Memorial Day weekend was already off to a busy start Friday afternoon.
“At one point the driver stopped and we were able to block his movement and then he refused to get out of the car so we had to extract him from the car and then he was taken into custody. It’s believed that he is DUI,” Sgt. Jen Mathis of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said.
The suspect, 26-year-old Kevin Warner, was arrested after officers said they spotted him speeding and driving erratically around Shields and Temperance avenues.
He was arrested for evading police and DUI. Officer said they found a bottle of liquor on his car seat.
“We know that Memorial Day weekend is the start of vacations for many people and a high travel time. It is also a time when we see a lot of deaths on the highways and on city streets,” Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said.
Over the weekend California Highway Patrol officers, Fresno police, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the Madera County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to saturate the roadways as part of the ‘Drive and Stay Alive Central Valley’ campaign, which was started in response to an uptick in traffic fatalities and injuries.
CHP reported 124 fatalities this year which they said was more than a 20% increase over last.
The city of Fresno reported 31 fatalities so far this year.
Officers are looking for several things including distracted drivers, speeding and DUI, but said they can only enforce so they need everyone else’s help too.
“We can’t do this by ourselves so I want to ask for the public’s compliance up front to please take their time, please focus on their driving, wear the seatbelts don’t drink and drive and get to the destination they’re going to safely,” Scott Parker the Chief of CHP Central Division.
He said there will be a zero-tolerance policy along Highway 41 from Yosemite to Atascadero and Highway 46 from Paso Robles to Famoso. Drivers can also expect DUI checkpoints in Fresno and Clovis with a price tag for drinking and driving coming in at more than $10,000.
In addition, Fresno police will also be focused on street racing. Balderrama said the average fine is about $16,000.