RIVERSIDE (CNS) - An end-of-year crackdown targeting drunken and drug- impaired drivers in Riverside County will get underway tonight.
The California Highway Patrol will initiate its New Year's “maximum enforcement period” at 6 p.m., when all available officers deploy to catch impaired motorists, speeders and other traffic violators. The enforcement campaign will run for 30 hours straight, ending late Wednesday night.
Officers from the Riverside, Beaumont, Blythe, Indio and Temecula CHP stations will be on Inland Empire freeways, highways and unincorporated roads, looking to snare suspects.
“Please make smart choices this holiday season,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Driving while impaired can have tragic results. Whether impaired by alcohol or drugs, the result can lead to arrest, injury or death. Either way, the impact will be life-altering.”`
During the New Year's maximum enforcement period that marked the end of 2018, the CHP arrested 1,140 DUI suspects statewide, compared to 936 during the 2017 MEP.
Twenty-five people died and 270 were injured in collisions on roads under the CHP's jurisdiction while the 2018 enforcement campaign was in effect, according to the agency.
The New Year's crackdown will coincide with year-end anti-DUI campaigns involving the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and multiple municipal law enforcement agencies countywide.
Officers and deputies have been conducting saturation patrols and staffing sobriety checkpoints to catch intoxicated drivers. Operations will conclude Wednesday night.
Photo: Getty Images