Sunday, 14 July 2024

Authorities: No fatalities, few DUIs over holiday

LAKE COUNTY – While there was a lot of activity going on in the county over the past weekend, leading up through the Fourth of July, overall it appears to have been a safe holiday, with no fatalities on the roads and few driving-under-the-influence arrests.

Officer Adam Garcia of the Clear Lake California Highway Patrol office said Thursday that, as far as safety and arrests, it was a good Fourth.

CHP's DUI checkpoint, held Monday on Highway 20 at Lake Street in Clearlake Oaks, actually yielded no DUI arrests, said Garcia. Officers did give seven driver's license-related citations, and made one arrest for possession of a controlled substance.

Over the entire holiday weekend, CHP logged only two DUI arrests, said Garcia.

In addition, there were zero fatalities, Garcia reported. “That's the big number there.”

Officers didn't notice a more-than-normal number of collisions either, he said.

Jaime Coffee, spokesperson for the CHP's Sacramento headquarters, said that 18 people died in accidents around the state during the CHP's maximum enforcement period, which because of the way the holiday fell this year lasted just over two days, from 6:01 p.m. July 2 to 11:59 p.m. July 4.

Last year's maximum enforcement period stretched over four days, said Coffee. The last time the Fourth of July fell in the middle of the week and there was a maximum enforcement period of the same length was 2001, said Coffee. That year, CHP recorded eight fatalities statewide. This year's numbers, said Coffee, illustrate a significant increase.

DUI arrests across the state totaled 568, with 34 in the CHP's Northern Division, which includes the Clear Lake office, said Coffee.

Of this Fourth of July's 18 fatalities, 13 were within CHP jurisdiction and five were within city jurisdictions, said Coffee. The CHP's Northern Division had a total of two traffic deaths.

In looking at those statistics, Coffee said one thing stood out: use of seat belts.

The 13 fatalities in CHP jurisdiction included two motorcycle deaths and 11 deaths in vehicle accidents, Coffee reported. Of those 11 vehicle fatalities, eight – or 73 percent – of those who died were not wearing seat belts, said Coffee.

“Had they taken that one second to buckle their seat belt, they may have saved their own life,” Coffee said.

She added, “It's a good habit to get in, and it can mean the difference between life and death.”

A more quiet year around rest of county

Lakeport and Clearlake Police and the Lake County Sheriff's Office noted a busy Fourth, that, overall, was quieter than previous years.

LCSO's arrest logs for July 3, 4 and 5 showed no arrests for DUI or any serious assaults.

Lt. Brad Rasmussen of the Lakeport Police Department said there was one serious gang-related assault in Lakeport on Wednesday, and some other arrests.

“If we're talking about the celebration in Library Park, that portion of it was pretty quiet,” said Rasmussen, a lot quieter than previous years, he added.

There were a lot of fireworks-related calls, said Rasmussen, with calls for service on the street showing an increase.

In Clearlake, the city's busiest day was Saturday, when it held its Fourth of July festivities, said Lt. Mike Hermann of Clearlake Police.

On Saturday, “We made numerous arrests during the day,” said Hermann.

A rap concert that night yielded only one minor fight between two young women, he added.

The city was relatively quiet on Wednesday, said Hermann, with one traffic collision. Clearlake Police made no DUI arrests over the Fourth of July holiday, he added.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Upcoming Calendar

07.16.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.13.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.