Strike teams launch massive DUI sweep

December 30, 2008 12:41:24 PM PST
Alameda County is trying to get ahead of the drunks on New Year's Eve by going after the ones who failed last year's drunk-driving traffic stops.

A strike team of 21 agencies is serving warrants to more than 1000 people who did not follow through in the court system after they were arrested.

The massive DUI sweep began at 6:00 Tuesday morning. 50 officers from Berkeley, Pleasanton, the CHP and other East Bay agencies, were briefed at the Alameda Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services.

They had about a 1000 warrants to serve Tuesday for people failing to follow up on judges' orders following a DUI arrest or conviction.

"They have failed to go to their court appearances. They have failed to pay fines. They have failed to show up and execute their sentencing. A variety of things?" explained Lt. Mike Peretti with the Livermore Police Department.

For the people targeted in Tuesday's DUI sweep there are two end results. One is that they will be given a citation that gives you a new court date. The other is that they will be taken directly to jail.

Berkeley police officers started the sweep at a house on 5th Street.

"When we entered the bedroom our gentleman here was hiding beneath a bunch of pillows in the closet," described Officer Jennifer Coats with the Berkeley Police Department.

It took a little effort but they finally got their man Dwayne Jackson in handcuffs.

"They said I had some kind of warrant," said Jackson. "This was just wet reckless. It was really minor. I don't understand why they are doing all this. It doesn't make sense."

"His warrant is for health and safety code violations which are drug offenses. And, also reckless driving related to a DUI arrest he had," explained Officer Coats.

Jackson was booked into Berkeley Jail and officers went after their next man, 24-year old Carlos Navarro.

He wasn't at his Roosevelt Avenue home but a family member was. He was given a business card and a warning for Carlos to take care of his warrant now.

"Otherwise, if we stop them later it may be an inopportune time for them to take care of the warrant. So definitely, it's better to just get it over with and take care of it," said Officer Brian Kishiyama with the Berkeley Police Department.

Berkeley officers have 77 warrants to go through Tuesday.

They hope many will turn themselves in and save the embarrassment of a police officer showing up at work or home to make an arrest.


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