Law enforcement steps up patrols for holiday weekend

Motorists urged not to drink and drive in the 'Avoid the 30' campaign

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County will be ramping up patrols to catch drunken drivers, speeders and other scofflaws during the upcoming holiday weekend.

The Avoid the 30 campaign -- named for the number of area police agencies involved -- will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints beginning 6 p.m. Friday and wrapping up shortly after midnight Tuesday.

The effort will coincide with the California Highway Patrol's Memorial Day weekend "Maximum Enforcement Period," during which all available officers are deployed to crack down on intoxicated motorists, distracted drivers and other violators.

During last year's Memorial Day weekend Avoid campaign, 230 people were arrested on suspicion of drunken or drug-impaired driving in Riverside County, compared to 191 arrests the year before.

Driver's license checkpoints and concentrated patrols are planned this  weekend in Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Canyon Lake, Corona, Eastvale, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Palm Springs, Perris, Riverside and San Jacinto.

According to the Temecula CHP office, a targeted motorcycle safety campaign is scheduled throughout the weekend on a roughly 30-mile stretch of the Ortega (74) Highway, from San Juan Capistrano to Lake Elsinore.

Temecula CHP Capt. Ernie Sanchez said the effort is aimed at promoting "a safer highway environment."

"This is achieved by staying alert and using common sense and courtesy while on the road," Sanchez said. "It's important for motorcyclists to minimize their risks by riding responsibly, always wearing a DOT-approved helmet and other protective equipment gear, and never riding after consuming alcohol."

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