As the Labor Day weekend approaches, a number of DUI checkpoints and crackdowns are being set up across Southwest Riverside County.
The California Highway Patrol will begin its “maximum enforcement period” Friday starting at 6 p.m. through Monday night.
“Throughout the MEP, all available officers will be on patrol cracking down on impaired drivers, speeders, and those who are a danger to themselves and others on the state’s roadways,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Nathan Baer.
Included in the increased patrols, the CHP will conduct a sobriety/driver license checkpoint Friday in an undisclosed area of unincorporated Southwest Riverside County.
In Lake Elsinore, deputies from the Lake Elsinore Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Driver's License Checkpoint Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city limits.
“Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. Officers will also check for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000,” said Sgt. Peter Giannakakos of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Other local cities conducting DUI checkpoints over the holiday weekend include Temecula, Jurupa Valley, San Jacinto and Coachella.
According to Baer, 29 people died in traffic accidents around California during last year's Labor Day weekend, and approximately 1,500 people were arrested for DUI over the weekend last year.
“Over the past three years, the Lake Elsinore Police Department investigated 58 DUI collisions in which 71 persons were injured and 6 were killed,” the sergeant said.
Temecula CHP Commander Captain Ernie Sanchez reminds motorists, “It’s important to remember that safety should never take a back seat; be safe, pay attention to the road, never drink and drive and always buckle up.”