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Countywide Anti-DUI Campaign Nets 725 Suspects


Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Issue 01, Volume 17.


RIVERSIDE - A roughly three-week countywide law enforcement campaign targeting drunk and drug-impaired drivers netted 725 arrests, about 4 percent less than last year, authorities reported today.

The Riverside County Avoid the 30 task force -- named for the number or participating agencies -- concluded its end-of-year anti-DUI operations at 12:01 this morning. The campaign, which began Dec. 13, involved saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints in numerous locations, including Beaumont, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta and Temecula.

The 725 DUI arrests compare to 758 during the same period in 2012, according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid spokesman.

He said there were two DUI-related fatal collisions between Dec. 13 and Dec. 26, including a rear-end crash that killed a motorcyclist on the Riverside (91) Freeway. The other fatality occurred when a woman drove onto Interstate 215 in Moreno Valley going in the wrong direction and caused a head-on crash that fatally injured the other driver.

The suspect in the latter collision, Patricia Starr, remains hospitalized with serious injuries. Monique Johnson, the woman suspected of killing the motorcyclist, is free on a $75,000 bond.

The Avoid effort was part of the nationwide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coincided with the California Highway Patrol's "maximum enforcement" operations conducted during Christmas and New Year's.

Showalter said additional Avoid campaigns are scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick's Day and Memorial Day weekend.

Countywide Anti-DUI Campaign Nets 642 Suspects

RIVERSIDE - A countywide law enforcement campaign targeting drunken and drugged drivers netted 642 arrests since it began more than two weeks ago, authorities said today.

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Avoid the 30 task force -- named for the number or participating agencies -- initiated its end-of-year anti-DUI operations on the morning of Friday, Dec. 13.

Since that time, saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints have been conducted in numerous locations, including Beaumont, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta and Temecula.

The 642 DUI arrests made over the past 18 days compare to 703 arrested during the same period in 2012, according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid spokesman.

He said there had been two DUI-related fatal collisions over the last two weeks. In one case, a female motorist rear-ended a motorcyclist on the Riverside (91) Freeway, killing him. In another instance, a woman drove onto Interstate 215 going in the wrong direction and crashed into a motorist head- on, causing fatal injuries.

The suspect in the latter collision, Patricia Star, remains hospitalized with serious injuries. The woman suspected of killing the motorcyclist, Monique Johnson, is free on a $75,000 bond.

Showalter said additional checkpoints and concentrated patrols are scheduled tonight and tomorrow in Corona, La Quinta, Moreno Valley and Riverside.

During last year's Avoid the 30 year-end crackdown, a total 758 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI. That compared to 682 during the same period in 2011, figures showed.

The effort is part of the nationwide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The California Highway Patrol's "maximum enforcement period," during which all available officers are deployed to catch traffic violators, will coincide with Avoid operations on New Year's.

Authorities recommended that people planning to imbibe during holiday festivities designate a sober driver, hire a taxi or use a community sober ride program to get home.


 

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