Christmas Weekend Crackdown Begins Friday

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Spend the Christmas holiday weekend driving sober and safe, or there could be consequences, the California Highway Patrol warned today.

The CHP's annual Christmas ``maximum enforcement period'' will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and continue until Monday night. All available officers will deploy during the MEP to catch drunken drivers, speeders and other traffic violators.

During last year's Christmas enforcement campaign, the CHP arrested 621 people statewide for DUI.

``We want everyone to enjoy their holiday celebration, which means protecting yourself, your passengers and other drivers and pedestrians,'' CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. ``Fasten your seat belt, drive sober and pay attention to the roadway.''

A total 23 people died in collisions on roads and highways in the CHP's jurisdiction during the 2016 Christmas weekend, according to the agency, adding that eight of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

Officers from the Riverside, Beaumont, Blythe, Indio and Temecula CHP stations will be on inland freeways, highways and unincorporated roads in Riverside County, looking to snare scofflaws.

The MEP will coincide with end-of-year holiday enforcement campaigns now underway in jurisdictions handled by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, as well as multiple municipal police agencies, which are using saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to apprehend drunken and drug- impaired drivers.

Photo: Getty Images

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