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COUNTYWIDE | COMMUNITY NEWS FOCUS

Keeping Streets Safe From Drunks

September 02, 1997|JOHN CANALIS

These are the kind of cops intoxicated drivers fear most.

Santa Ana Police Officer Greg Maciha was given special recognition in November for arresting 317 drunk drivers in the 1996 fiscal year--more than any other officer in the county.

Anaheim Police Officers Richard Estrada and Allen Eichorn made 286 and 203 arrests respectively and Sean Williamson of Westminster made 201 arrests.

"The officers get very little recognition from their own," said Reidel Post, director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving's Orange County chapter. "These officers literally put their lives on the lines."

The group also honors the prosecutors who handle DUI cases.

Though total DUI arrests are higher in bigger, more densely populated cities like Santa Ana and Anaheim, one way of looking at the figures is by the number of arrests per square mile.

Santa Ana officers in 1995, the last year for which figures were available, made 51.5 arrests for drunk driving per square mile; Costa Mesa, 49.2; Westminster, 46; Laguna Beach, 44.1; Placentia, 42; La Habra, 38.3; and La Palma, 34.7.

On the lower end of DUI arrests per square mile were Lake Forest, 10; Mission Viejo, 9.3; San Juan Capistrano, 7.6, and Villa Park, 2.9.

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