California Highway Patrol officers Thursday continued increased operations throughout Riverside County and statewide to catch drunken and drug-impaired drivers, as well as other traffic violators, as part of the agency’s annual Thanksgiving weekend enforcement campaign.

The “maximum enforcement period” began at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, according to the CHP.

All available officers from the Beaumont, Blythe, Indio, Riverside and Temecula stations will deploy for targeted crackdowns.

“Wherever you choose to celebrate this Thanksgiving, drive safely,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement. “When getting behind the wheel, make certain you and all your passengers buckle up before heading out, and remember to always avoid distractions.”

Thanksgiving weekend is considered one of the busiest travel times of the year, warranting the MEP, according to the CHP.

During the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend MEP, CHP officers statewide arrested 868 motorists on suspicion of driving under the influence. Thirty-three people died on roadways throughout California during the Thanksgiving weekend period, 14 of whom weren’t wearing seatbelts.

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