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Law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County will be ramping up patrols Tuesday and Wednesday to nab drunken or drug-impaired drivers who venture onto roads and highways over the Fourth of July holiday.
The county's "Avoid the 30" campaign -- named for the number of police agencies involved -- is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday and conclude at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
"The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in impaired-driving fatalities," said Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz. "Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July, actively looking for impaired drivers."
The Avoid campaign will coincide with the California Highway Patrol's Independence Day weekend "maximum enforcement period," during which 80 percent of the agency's officers are deployed to crack down on intoxicated motorists, speeders and other scofflaws.
Statistics show impaired driving accounted for roughly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2010.
"When celebrating Independence Day, the CHP wants you to be safe," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "When driving, be sure to leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Most importantly, before heading out, insist everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt and children are secure in safety seats."
During the 2011 Fourth of July Avoid campaign, which spanned three days, 182 DUI suspects were arrested in Riverside County, compared to 161 the year before.
Saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints are planned countywide Tuesday night and Wednesday.