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200+ Arrested in County Drunk Driving Crackdown

David Reese

200+ Arrested in County Drunk Driving Crackdown

CREATED Aug. 22, 2013

 RIVERSIDE  - A countywide crackdown on drunken and drug-impaired motorists netted more than 200 arrests in the first six days of the operation,authorities said today.

The end-of-summer Riverside County Avoid the 30 campaign -- named for the number of police agencies involved -- got under way last Friday morning.

Saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints have been deployed in a number of locations, including Banning, Beaumont, Corona, La Quinta, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Norco, Palm Springs, Perris, Rancho Mirage, Riverside and Temecula.

The 234 motorists arrested on suspicion of DUI through Wednesday night compare to 244 arrested during the same phase of last summer's Avoid campaign, according to Riverside police Lt. Mark Rossi, the Avoid coordinator.

Two people were killed and five people were seriously injured in a DUI-related collision in east Moreno Valley over the weekend, according to Rossi.

The Avoid crackdown, which continues through Labor Day weekend, is part of a national campaign, ``Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.''

This weekend, anti-DUI operations are planned in Beaumont, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Palm Desert and Riverside.  The Avoid campaign will coincide with the CHP's ``Maximum Enforcement Period,'' which is set for Aug. 30-Sept. 2. During the MEP, all available CHP officers hit the streets to nab intoxicated motorists, speeders and other traffic violators.

During last summer's two-week Avoid campaign, 710 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI, compared to 762 during the same period in 2011, according to figures.