High numbers of alcohol-related citations occur on Saint Patrick’s Day

David Lee/Staff

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Berkeley Police Department, UCPD and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC, cracked down on alcohol-related offenses with a DUI and license checkpoint on Saint Patrick’s Day, stopping a total of 847 vehicles and writing citations for various offenses.

The checkpoint was located on Telegraph Avenue and Stuart Street between 8 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. March 17. During the same time period, officers from the three agencies conducted alcohol-related enforcement operations throughout the city, making 64 total arrests.

“We want to promote safety and enhance quality of life for our community members,” said UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich in an email.

Of the 847 vehicles contacted at the checkpoint, 23 field sobriety tests were conducted, two subjects were arrested for alcohol-related DUIs and one was arrested for a drug-related DUI. Additionally, two citations were given for suspended driver’s licenses and 12 individuals were cited for various vehicle code violations.

The number of citations was about average for the holiday, according to BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel.

Of the 64 individuals who were arrested, all were cited and released. Individuals received citations for multiple alcohol- and drug-related reasons, including 24 open container citations, 18 citations for the use of fake IDs and 19 minor in possession of alcohol, or MIP, citations. Three individuals were cited for other vehicle code violations, and three businesses were cited for providing alcohol to minors.

Of the total citations, UCPD administered 12 for MIP, eight for open container violations, five for the possession of fake IDs and one for administering alcohol to a minor, according to Reich.

ABC spokesperson John Carr said the law enforcement agencies’ forces work together to focus on the safety of citizens this time of year with Saint Patrick’s Day and spring break.

Carr said ABC, BPD and UCPD encourage businesses to carefully check IDs. He added that they also insist that those of age not purchase alcohol for minors, as it is illegal.

“We also want younger people and their families to have good discussion about underage drinking,” Carr said. “Our goal is to keep everyone in the community safe.”

Contact Ella Jensen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ellajensen_dc.