California Highway Patrol officers will be ramping up patrols on state highways and roads over a four-day period starting Wednesday to catch drunken and drug-impaired drivers as part of the agency’s annual Fourth of July crackdown.
The CHP’s “maximum enforcement period” will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday and conclude at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, during which all available officers will hit the streets for targeted anti-DUI patrols.
“Do not lose your freedom while celebrating our country’s independence this weekend by making a bad choice,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Driving impaired comes with consequences that can be deadly. Driving sober, fastening seat belts and avoiding distractions will help everyone stay safe on the roadway.”
Officers from the Beaumont, Blythe, Indio, Riverside and Temecula CHP stations will deploy onto inland freeways, highways and unincorporated roads for the campaign.
During last year’s one-day Fourth of July MEP, the CHP arrested 389 motorists on suspicion of DUI statewide, compared to 1,244 in the 2017 campaign, which spanned four days.
According to the agency, 18 people were killed in collisions investigated by the CHP during the 2018 enforcement effort.
The CHP, along with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and all municipal police departments throughout the county, are taking part in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The NHTSA noted that it’s not only consuming alcohol and driving that puts people at risk, but also using drugs and getting behind the wheel that poses safety hazards.
“Like drunk driving, driving high is impaired driving, which means it is dangerous and illegal in all states,” the agency stated. “Whether the drug is obtained legally or illegally, prescription or over-the-counter, drug-impaired driving can be deadly for drivers, passengers and others on the road. If you are impaired by drugs and are thinking about driving, pass your keys on to a sober driver.”
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