Despite all the efforts in Marin County to discourage underage drinking, and especially underage drinking and driving, the California Highway Patrol says arrests this year of the youngest drivers are going to exceed the 2011 total.
According to figures released last week, Marin CHP officers have made 10 arrests of people 18 or younger for driving under the influence through the first two quarters of 2012, matching the figure for all of 2011.
There were 16 arrests of drivers aged 19 and 20 through June 30. In that age category, the pace is significantly lower than last year when there were 50 arrests.
From June 2010 to the first half of June 2012, 319 citations were forwarded to the Marin County Traffic Court for teen provisional license violations issued by all law enforcement agencies in Marin. There were 71 in the first half of 2012; there were 156 in all of 2011.
Arrests/citations for alcohol possession and public intoxication through June 30 matched the pace of last year's pattern. Officers made two arrests in both categories, and there were four in both categories in 2011.
Marin CHP started providing information to the media about citations and arrests involving alcohol with people under 21 in an effort to increase awareness of the issue. The statistics do not take into account verbal warnings issued to drivers, charges sought through the complaint process or an arrest out of a traffic incident in which a provisional violation was a lesser charge.
First-year drivers may not transport passengers 19 or younger or drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years of age or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor.
"Marin CHP will continue to aggressively enforce these violations in our community as part of our overall effort to reduce injury and fatality collisions within our jurisdiction," Sgt. Marcus Bartholomew said in a release.
Follow the Marin CHP on Twitter at @chpmarin.