RIVERSIDE – A countywide crackdown on drunken and drug-impaired motorists netted more than 700 arrests, authorities said today.
The end-of-summer Riverside County ”Avoid the 30” campaign — named for the number of police agencies involved — got under way Aug. 17 and concluded just before midnight Monday.
The number of people taken into custody on suspicion of impaired driving during the more than two-week-long operation totaled 710, roughly 7 percent less than last year’s late-summer campaign, when 762 peopled were arrested.
Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator, said three people died and 23 were injured in DUI-related collisions between Aug. 17 and Sept. 3.
Saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints were deployed throughout the county, including Beaumont, Coachella, Hemet, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Temecula.
The Avoid program, part of a national campaign, ”Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” coincided with the California Highway Patrol’s Labor Day weekend”Maximum Enforcement Period,” during which all available CHP officers hit the streets to nab intoxicated motorists, speeders and other traffic violators.
Additional Avoid programs are planned during Halloween and throughout the holidays.