To make local roadways safer during the holidays, Los Altos police officers have stepped up their efforts to catch alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers. Through Sunday, four Los Altos police officers are participating in Santa Clara County's Avoid the 13 DUI Enforcement Winter Holiday Campaign. The Avoid the 13 program began in 1973, when 13 local agencies combined efforts to prevent drunken driving during the holidays.
"We will have extra patrol cars and officers out during this campaign,” said Capt. Andy Galea, public information officer for the Los Altos Police Department.
Los Altos joins forces with police from Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale to form a North County Strike Team. Los Altos Sgt. Matt Hartley said the team comprises 24 officers who will patrol their respective jurisdictions to combat driving under the influence.
"Past strike teams have been extremely effective in their efforts to arrest drunk and drugged drivers, Hartley said.
Los Altos police urge the public to call 911 to report drunk drivers. Include a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.
The following clues can help motorists detect a drunk driver.
Weaving/swerving in and out of the lane.
Weaving within the lane.
Driving slower than the flow of traffic.
Braking erratically or stopping in the lane.
Sudden stops for a signal light and a slow start once the light changes.
Remaining at the signal light once it turns green or falling asleep at the wheel.
Making wide turns and/or cutting the corner, striking the curb.
Headlights off at night or high beams on.
Driving with turn signals on.
Straddling the center line of the road or lane lines.
The driver looks intoxicated - starring straight ahead, face close to the windshield and sleepy.
The driver is aggressive, which includes speeding, tailgating and multiple lane changes or unsafe passing.