Santa Barbara Law Enforcement Arrest Over 150 People During the Holidays
By Jae Brattain | Published 01.06.2014
Local authorities placed a heavy emphasis on arresting drivers who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs during the holiday period. Agencies throughout the County of Santa Barbara were on high alert for a period of 20-days from mid-December to New Year’s Day. There were 151 people arrested in total according to provisional estimates. This compared to 154 apprehended last year during the same time. Some agencies have not reported their arrest totals yet.
Several checkpoints were setup in conjunction with a major uptick in patrol presence. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol made the most DUI arrests during the holidays. Sheriff’s deputies were prepared for an increase in population at Santa Barbara County Jail. Most individuals were released on citation, but others had bail bonds set for their cases.
There was one fatal crash involving a 68-year old Buellton woman named Linda Wall. The incident occurred near Chumash Casino Resort on December 19th. Rebecca Sandoval has been accused of the DUI-related crime and now faces charges of murder. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.
Law enforcement are planning more DUI/driver’s license checkpoints and increased patrols in the coming year. For the immediate future, Super Bowl weekend during the beginning of February has been targeted initially, with a follow up in March for St. Patrick’s Day. No other plans have been indicated, but there may be other times when there is added attention given to potential DUI drivers.
Motorists who suspect fellow drivers of driving impaired are encouraged to call 9-1-1 to report. It is legal to make emergency 9-1-1 calls on cellular phones while driving as long as it’s to a law enforcement agency, fire department, medical provider, or other emergency service agencies.
Authorities receive funding for the added DUI enforcement through a California Office of Traffic Safety grant via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The AVOID the 12 Task Force is so named for the twelve Santa Barbara County law enforcement agencies who participate in the program.