Valley News -

CHP to deploy officers for holiday weekend crackdown


Last updated 11/20/2018 at 11:23am

RIVERSIDE - Drive safe and sober during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, or face the consequences, the California Highway Patrol warned.

The agency will initiate its annual Thanksgiving "maximum enforcement period'' beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday when all available officers will deploy to catch drunken or drug-impaired drivers, speeders and other traffic violators. The effort will conclude on Sunday night.

During last year's Thanksgiving maximum enforcement campaign, the CHP arrested 1,057 people statewide on suspicion of driving under the influence, compared to 902 the previous year -- a 17 percent increase.

A total of 50 people died in collisions on roads and highways under the CHP's jurisdiction during the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, and 27 of those killed were not wearing seatbelts, according to the agency.

"Whatever your destination this Thanksgiving, remember to buckle up and avoid distractions while driving, and give yourself plenty of time for your trip so you and your passengers can arrive safely,'' CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. "Remembering to wear your seatbelt every day is a good practice, but take extra care over the long holiday to ensure you are able to enjoy the festivities with friends and family.''

Officers from the Riverside, Blythe, Beaumont, Indio and Temecula CHP stations will be on inland freeways, highways, and unincorporated roads, looking to snare scofflaws.

The maximum enforcement period will coincide with the sixth annual "Interstate 40 Challenge: The Drive Toward Zero Fatalities,'' a national campaign that seeks to have a law enforcement officer actively patrolling 20-mile stretches of I-40, from California to North Carolina, Wednesday night to Sunday night.


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