The death of a 67-year-old Fontana man earlier this month served as another reminder of the tragic consequences that drunk driving can cause.
Rafael Macias Herrera was riding his bicycle on Foothill Boulevard on Feb. 17 when he was struck and killed by a car driven by Felipe Martin, a Hawthorne resident, who was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in addition to vehicular manslaughter, police said.
The Fontana Police Department's Traffic Unit has instituted several programs and policies designed to reduce the number of automobile accidents in the city, including crashes in which drivers were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Last year, there were 2,981 vehicle accidents in Fontana, and 191 of those involved alcohol, the Police Department said.
As a result of those crashes, nine people were killed (including four people in alcohol-involved incidents), and 781 persons were injured (including 89 in incidents that were DUI-related).
Traffic Sgt. Brian McLane said the city utilizes both DUI checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols as ways to try to reduce problems created by intoxicated motorists.
"DUI checkpoints are an important aspect to combat DUI activity because it is proactive in nature, meaning it is more effective at keeping those under the influence from ever getting behind the wheel in the first place. DUI saturation patrols, although reactive in nature, are also helpful in that those already driving under the influence are sought after, located, and then arrested," McLane said. "Having a proactive and reactive approach to the DUI problem has been the most effective approach in helping Fontana roads become safer by reducing the number of DUI incidents and crashes."