California Highway Patrol officers will be ramping up patrols on state highways and roads in Riverside County starting Friday to catch drunken and drug-impaired drivers as part of the agency’s annual Fourth of July crackdown.
The agency’s “maximum enforcement period” will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and conclude at 11:59 p.m. Monday, during which all available officers will hit the streets for targeted patrols.
“Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Speeding not only endangers your life, but the lives of everyone on the roadway. Fill the holiday weekend with celebration and fun activities, not reckless choices that lead to tragedy.”
During last year’s Independence Day MEP, officers arrested 997 motorists on suspicion of DUI statewide, compared to 738 arrests during the 2020 campaign, according to the CHP.
Forty-three people were killed in crashes within the CHP’s jurisdiction during the 2021 Fourth of July weekend, and the agency noted that one-third of those victims were not wearing any type of safety restraint.
Officers from the Beaumont, Blythe, Indio, Riverside and Temecula CHP stations will deploy on Inland Empire freeways, highways and unincorporated roads for this year’s effort.
Ray emphasized that the objective is not only to send a zero tolerance message to impaired drivers, but all traffic violators.
“Speed is the number one factor in roadway crashes in California, causing one-third of traffic-related deaths,” she said, adding that 10,000 citations were issued during the July 4, 2021, enforcement campaign.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and municipal police departments throughout the county will be carrying out targeted patrols of their own to snare DUI suspects this holiday weekend.