Law enforcement agencies to ramp up patrols for Fourth of July

Law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County will be ramping up patrols tomorrow night and through the Fourth of July weekend to catch drunken and drug-impaired drivers.

The county’s “Avoid the 30” campaign — named for the number of police agencies involved — is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday and conclude at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

“Every Riverside County law enforcement agency will be out to make our roads safer this Fourth of July,” said Riverside police Sgt. Robert Tipre, the Avoid spokesman. “For everyone’s sake, don’t drink and drive, or you will be targeted for arrest.”

Impaired driving accounted for roughly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2012, according to statistics cited by the Avoid campaign.

The Avoid campaign will coincide with the California Highway Patrol’s Independence Day weekend

“maximum enforcement period,” during which the agency’s available officers are deployed to crack down on intoxicated

motorists, speeders and other scofflaws.

All of the anti-DUI operations are part of the national “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

During the 2013 Fourth of July Avoid effort, 208 DUI suspects were arrested in Riverside County

Saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints are planned countywide, including in Beaumont, Blythe, Coachella, Corona, Hemet, La Quinta, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Riverside.

Authorities offered the following recommendations for anyone planning a Fourth of July party:

— Ensure guests have a designated driver or can arrange for ride-sharing;

— serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages; and

— take the keys away from guests showing obvious signs of drunkenness and call them a cab if necessary.

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