CHP: Increase in holiday weekend DUI arrests and crashes

POSTED: 10:55 AM PDT Jul 10, 2013 
INDIO, Calif. -

The problem with Fourth of July celebrations, some people who drink get behind the wheel. The California Highway Patrol reported an increase in DUI arrests and crashes across the Coachella Valley compared to in past two years. CHP officers arrested 13 drivers this past weekend compared with just four last year.

"It's not ideal we like to see those numbers lower. We work to take those drivers off the road before colliding," said CHP officer Stephanie Hamilton.

The number of non-DUI crashes nearly doubled this year. There were 13 compared with seven last year. Five people were in injured. One crash left a local firefighter dead.

Flags at the CHP Indio station fly at half staff in honor of 41-year-old, Christopher Douglas of Temecula. Responding to a crash on the 1-10 Friday morning, Douglas and his crew stopped along the eastbound on-ramp at Monterey when he got hit.
   
"People are worried about where they're going and don't pay attention. Slow down," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said it was a loss for law enforcement and the Valley. One thing she says her department takes pride in, "We were lucky this weekend. No DUI collisions where someone was seriously injured."

Holiday or not, the CHP asks everyone to wear their seat belts and drive sober.