OPD on high alert for impaired drivers, gunfire on New Year's Eve

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Police in Oakland are on the lookout for drunk drivers and gunfire on this New Year's Eve.

It happens every year in East Bay Cities like Oakland - illegal fireworks and in some cases gunfire, including in San Leandro, where last New Year's Eve, a woman was struck and injured by a stray bullet.

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"Whatever goes up must come down," said Johnna Watson, spokesperson for the Oakland Police Department. Watson says Oakland will have extra patrol tonight, especially in areas known to be trouble spots.

"If you're driving under the influence. We are certainly are going to be enforcing," said Watson. "That means arrest. That means jail time. Also, we're going to be looking for celebratory gunfire. Anyone discharging a firearm within the city. That's illegal. That's not only dangerous, but can also lead to someone's death."

Oakland will also utilize technology like Shot-Spotter, to isolate and identify the source of gunfire.

"There is usually a bunch of fireworks and gunshots," said Oakland resident Salvador Hernandez, who knows well the dangers of random gunfire, given a close call for his brother years ago in Los Angeles.

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"There was one time it even shot through my parents wall and it missed my brother by a good six inches," said Hernandez.

As for the illegal fireworks, officers can only cite or arrest someone if they see the person actually ignite a device, or if someone is in possession of a large quantity of fireworks.

"We want to share with you that San Francisco is going to put on a fantastic fireworks show," said Watson. "You can go there and watch it. Please don't participate in fireworks in the city of Oakland."

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