Downey police will be out in force this month looking for motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, as well as conducting bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations.

“Safety is paramount, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Downey police Chief Dean Milligan said. “We are all in this together and want everyone to be as safe as possible when they are out. One way to do that is by not driving impaired.”

Police reminded the public that impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Some prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving.

Always follow directions for use and read warning labels about driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery. While medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, Downey police Sgt. Mark Haxton said.

Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI will pay a stiff price. An average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license will be coming their way, Haxton said.

Police will also be looking for violations made by bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe, he said. Those violations include drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and failing to stop for signs and signals.

Officers will also look for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped when riding on the wrong side of the road, not complying with stop signs and signals, or committing other violations of the same traffic laws that apply to them as drivers, Haxton said.

Funding for the programs was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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