Increased New Year's Eve enforcement leads to few DUI arrests locally
Valley-wide, CHP reports 179 DUI arrests
Even with beefed up patrol, local law enforcement agencies made few DUI arrests over the New Year’s holiday.
Authorities were busy, nonetheless.
The Porterville Police Department’s special enforcement detail netted two DUI arrests, two felony arrests and handed out 18 citations.
The first DUI arrest was made at about 9:50 p.m. Monday in the area of Prospect Street and Putnam Avenue. The Porterville Police Department reports that officers conducted a traffic stop and that the driver, later identified as 22-year-old Jacob Lamar-Malahy, displayed symptoms of being under the influence of a drug. After failed sobriety tests, police determined Lamar-Malahy was under the influence of a controlled substance. His passenger, identified as 20-year-old Gregory Lamar-Malahy, was found to be in possession of a controlled substance and in violation of the terms of his probation. Both were arrested and taken to the police department for processing. Jacob Lamar-Malahy was later cited and released to a family member. Gregory Lamar-Malahy is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, Porterville substation on various charges.
The night’s second DUI arrest was made at approximately 12:20 a.m. Monday on E Street.
Police say officers conducted a traffic stop on a car that was parked in the middle of the street, south of Olive Avenue, for no apparent reason. When the officer turned on his patrol car’s emergency lights, the driver, identified as 29-year-old Rigoberto Nava, turned left into the parking lot of a nearby car wash.
The PPD reports that Nava struck a brick pillar and the wall of a small building before coming to a stop. Nava was described by police as “very intoxicated” and was arrested and booked at the sheriff’s substation.
Additionally, at approximately 10:35 p.m., officers responded to Sierra View District Hospital for a stabbing that occurred earlier in the night at a local convenience store. Police say the alleged victim said he was putting air in his car tire at Super 7 on East Olive Avenue, when he was confronted by a Hispanic man who was on a bike. For unexplained reasons, the two started fighting and the suspect stabbed the victim once in the abdomen, the PPD reports.
The victim’s wife drove him to the hospital immediately after the incident. Police say the victim did not provide any further information and it appeared his injuries were only superficial. He reportedly refused any further assistance from the police department.
Police also responded to a vehicle burglary in the Walmart parking lot at around 11 p.m. The victim reported coming out of the store and seeing a person in a red Mustang taking a purse out of the victim’s van and fleeing southbound on Prospect Street. The suspect stole six women’s handbags.
Officers also responded to a residential burglary in the 100 block of North Cottage Street.
The homeowner reported she had just returned home and found her front door was open.
The burglars had forced their way into the home sometime between Friday and Monday and stole a flat screen TV and a laptop.
Porterville Police Officer Dominic Barteau said the department took a proactive approach in Monday’s efforts and said overall, New Year’s Eve operations went smoothly.
“We try to take a proactive stance in that we want to be ready for it as opposed to reacting to a very busy night,” Barteau said.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department also made their share of arrests.
Between 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 2 a.m. New Year’s Day, deputies from the Pixley and Porterville sheriff’s substations participated in a suppression detail in the unincorporated areas of those communities.
During the detail, deputies conducted 37 vehicle stops, 29 field interviews, towed away one vehicle and made three arrests.
Deputies arrested 20-year-old Eric Hernandez and 18-year-old Jayme Dominguez, both Strathmore residents, on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dominguez was booked at the Porterville substation and Hernandez was issued a citation. A 55-year-old Delano man identified as Armando Martinez, was arrested for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana in an unrelated case. He was also booked at the Porterville substation.
The Porterville-area California Highway Patrol on Wednesday reported making eight DUI arrests during its maximum enforcement period, which began Dec. 28 and concluded at 11:59 p.m. New Year’s Day.
CHP Officer Ed Flynn said of those eight, only three were made on New Year’s Eve, and noted it was a relatively low number.
Valley-wide, however, DUI arrests are significantly up.
The CHP Central Division on Wednesday reported making 179 DUI arrests from Bakersfield to Modesto, between Dec. 28 and Jan. 1, as opposed to 157 during the same campaign last year.
“People are not heeding the CHP’s advice and taking the responsible route to designate a driver during the holiday season,” said Officer Matt Radke with the CHP Central Division.