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Authorities Friday warned Southlanders that officers will be out in force over the Memorial Day weekend, on the lookout for people who are driving drunk, not wearing their seat belts, or otherwise violating traffic laws.

During the California Highway Patrol’s “maximum enforcement period,” which begins at 6:01 tonight and extends through 11:59 p.m. Monday, all available CHP officers will be assigned to patrol duties.

During last year’s Memorial Day weekend maximum enforcement period, the CHP made 1,256 DUI arrests statewide.

The MEP coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign, emphasizing seatbelt safety.

“Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to avoid being seriously injured or killed in a collision,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Wear your seat belt, travel at a safe speed, and use a designated driver if your weekend plans include alcohol. This important advice could save your life, or the life of someone you love behind the wheel.”

Of the 25 people who died in collisions on California roads during the 2014 Memorial Day weekend, at least seven were not wearing safety restraints of any kind, according to the CHP.

Deputies from the Orange County sheriff’s DUI task force will also be deployed this weekend, with extra patrols from 7 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday in Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita.

“This is a ‘Zero Tolerance’ crackdown, so drive sober or get pulled over,” said Orange County sheriff’s Deputy Manuel Cruz.

Funding for extra patrols in local jurisdictions is provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

City News Service

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