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Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies kick off annual DUI crackdown

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on outstanding warrants, even if the arrest rate isn’t all that high.

For instance, deputy sheriffs Espinosa and Marquez spent the better part of the morning hunting fruitlessly for two suspects whom they never found. One suspect still at large is Joseph Jenkins, a 20-something with outstanding felony warrants for grand theft, vandalism, methamphetamine possession and a DUI.

From his rap sheet and mug shot, the deputies thought they recognized Jenkins in downtown San Jose talking with some buddies. But they quickly ascertained it wasn’t their man. Then, they went to a sober-living home nearby, where records show he had last lived. But that, too, was a dead end.

The people who run the home said they recognized Jenkins, but they had told him to leave long ago because he was a bad influence.

At their third stop for Jenkins, at a luxury hotel complex in San Jose, their suspect was also nowhere to be found.

The two deputies also struck out in their search for Juan Alejo at a neat, gray home downtown. According to the warrant, Alejo hadn’t completed a weekend work program stemming from a DUI. A woman at the home told the deputies Alejo had taken off to Los Angeles and might be working there.

“No luck,” Espinosa said after returning to his van on each occasion.

While that result is par for the course many times, the deputies are happy that, thanks to determination and a bit of luck, they can take some potential repeat

DUI drivers off the road.

Their boss, Sgt. Rick Turini, said out of “thousands and thousands” of warrants out there, a good “pull rate” is about 10 percent to 15 percent.

“The numbers we pull in may not be huge,” Turini said. “But it’s all about raising awareness. What’s successful? Arresting a drunk driver. Even one’s a big success.”

Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-920-5002.

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