Law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County will be ramping up patrols beginning tonight in preparation for a two-week crackdown on motorists driving under the influence and committing other violations.
The end-of-summer “Avoid the 30'' campaign -- named for the number of local police agencies involved -- will get under way at 6 p.m. and continue to Sept. 5.
The effort is part of a national campaign called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,'' according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator.
Countywide anti-DUI operations will coincide with the California Highway Patrol's “Maximum Enforcement Period,'' which is set for Labor Day weekend.
During the MEP, 80 percent of the CHP's officers hit the streets to nab intoxicated motorists, speeders and other traffic violators.
“Weekend nights are particularly dangerous times for innocent victims of drunk drivers,'' said Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz. “For that reason, during this operation, we will be deploying extraordinary numbers of Riverside Police Department officers to arrest impaired drivers during those hours. This operation is an integral part of the RPD's comprehensive strategy to make our streets and roads safer for all community members.''
During last year's two-week Avoid campaign, 693 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI, compared to 517 the year before, according to figures.
Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols are scheduled tonight in Coachella, Corona, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Palm Springs, Perris, San Jacinto and Temecula.
More than five dozen such operations are planned countywide through Sept. 5. --City News Service