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DUI patrols to increase this holiday season


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The holiday season can be a deadly season when it comes to drunk driving.

Officers with the Santa Maria Police Department said drunk driving is more common during this time of the year, and they're seeing an increase DUI arrests this month.

While December holidays are known for being merry and bright, officers said this wasn't the case this weekend.

“Last Saturday they had about six DUI arrests within a 5-hour period,” said Lt. Russell Mengel with the Santa Maria Police Department.

While there is potential for more people driving under the influence this month, officers said there's a high number of DUI arrests in Santa Maria year-round.

“But this is the time when it scares us the most. There's nothing like a family member being hurt or killed, especially related to a DUI,” Mengel said.

Last year, the police department reported close to 600 DUI arrests.

So far this year, they've had close to 500.

“It's pretty serious this month. A lot of people are traveling for the holidays. So there are more people in Santa Maria than usual,” said officer John Uhl with the Santa Maria Police Department.

This month, officers will be on patrol enforcing DUI's.

If you're going to be a designated driver, officers said don't drink any alcohol or use any drugs.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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