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Holiday DUI arrests in Santa Clara County dropped 13% from last season

DUI arrests in Santa Clara County dropped 13 percent during the holidays compared with the previous year, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rick Sung said the holiday “Avoid the 13” crackdown resulted in 557 arrests compared with 632 DUI in 2009, through the same time period from midnight Dec. 17 to midnight Jan. 2.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It involves 14 law enforcement agencies in the county.

Sung said that fortunately, there were no DUI-related deaths during the 2010 campaign. A year earlier, there were 26 alcohol-related injuries and one death as a result of an impaired driver during the same time period, Sung said.

Still, there were several fatal car collisions during this past holiday season, even though alcohol or drugs were not suspected as a factor. That includes the death of 21-year-old Vanesa Cerda, whose body was found on Highway 101 at Tully Road on New Year’s Day. The California Highway Patrol has not released additional details about Cerda’s death.

According to Cerda’s Facebook page, she was a graduate of Overfelt High School in San Jose.

Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-920-5002.

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