The holiday season can bring out the worst in drivers — from stress and road rage to distracted and drunk driving — and the result is usually a spike in traffic accidents and arrests.
Concord, however, bucked the trend this year with a dip in the number of arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and no fatalities on the city's roads.
Between Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 25, Concord police arrested five drivers on suspicion of DUI, according to Sgt. John Nunes. Over the Thanksgiving weekend in 2011, the number of DUI arrests was 7. No one was killed this year on Concord's roads.
Thanksgiving weekend DUIs were down across the state too, with 224 arrests compared to 227 in 2011.However, road fatalities were up 47.6 percent over last year, as reported by the Contra Costa Times. There were 31 deaths on the roads from Wednesday evening through Sunday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol, compared to 21 for the holiday weekend in 2011. Many of those who died were not wearing seat belts.
But drugs and alcohol may not be the main culprits. Officials say that sleep deprivation, routine change and stress over the holidays were more likely the cause of the recent fatal traffic accidents. The fatalities remain under investigation, but CHP says there are no initial reports of drug or alcohol involvement.