Jul 29, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend DUI Crackdown

There are DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols scheduled throughout Riverside County this Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day Weekend DUI Crackdown

Law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County will be ramping up patrols Friday night and through the holiday weekend to nab drunken or drug-impaired drivers.

The Avoid the 30 campaign -- named for the number of area police agencies involved -- will entail saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and continuing to 11:59 p.m. Monday.

In Banning, police will deploy extra officers on Saturday night, conducting a "saturation patrol," to stop drunk drivers. 

Over in Beaumont, police say they'll be amping up their DUI enforcement throughout the entire holiday weekend.

"Local and state traffic officers will be out in great numbers this Memorial Day weekend," said Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz. "If you drink and drive, your odds of being arrested will be very high. Please arrange for a designated driver and save yourself the pain and expense of a DUI arrest, or worse, a tragic DUI crash."

The Avoid campaign will coincide with the California Highway Patrol's Memorial Day weekend "Maximum Enforcement Period," during which 80 percent of the agency's officers are deployed to catch intoxicated motorists, speeders and other violators.

During last year's Avoid crackdown, 191 people were arrested on suspicion of drunken or drug-impaired driving in Riverside County, compared to 161 arrests in 2010.

Friday, sobriety checkpoints were planned in La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Palm Desert and Palm Springs, while saturation patrol will be concentrated in Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Menifee and San Jacinto.

for the Hemet/San Jacinto area, in an undisclosed location.

The Avoid and CHP anti-DUI campaigns that got under way Monday and wraps up June 3.

"California has the highest seatbelt compliance percentage in the nation -- 96 percent," said Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter. "We're trying to keep it that way or even improve it."

A ticket for a first-time seatbelt violation is $142.

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