Jan Ford of the Avoid Campaign said the decrease in DUI arrests could indicate that drivers have become more aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. She called it a "tremendous drop this year, which makes us very happy because it sounds to us like people are getting the message about driving sober."
The news was even better in Pleasanton where tough police enforcement led to the arrest of 13 drivers on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, down one from a year ago. Last year, there were two accidents attributed to drunken driving; this year there were none. Even the number of accidents over the New Year's weekend was down, totaling eight compared to 13 in the same period a year ago. The only numbers that increased, in fact, were calls to the police department to report problems, but Police Capt. Dave Spiller said that's a number he likes to see rise because it shows more residents are watching their neighborhoods and helping police by reporting suspicious activity. He credits the department's Outreach program, which encourages citizens to call police if they see unusual activities near their homes or elsewhere in the city, including retail center parking lots.
As for New Year's Eve itself, Spiller said the city was quiet and calm, with party-goers celebrating inside and using designated drivers if they had to use a car to go home. It's always good news to report no fatalities, few arrests and a calm, peaceful community on New Year's Eve, often the most difficult night of the year for police everywhere.