DUI Crackdown: 60+ People Arrested in Riverside County Since Friday

There are still more checkpoints planned across the county-- including one in La Quinta and a saturation patrol in Palm Desert.

More than 60 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the first days of a countywide anti-DUI crackdown, authorities said Monday.

The Riverside County Avoid the 30 task force -- named for the number of participating agencies -- initiated its end-of-year campaign on Friday. Between then and 11:59 p.m. Sunday, 64 people were arrested for alleged impaired driving, according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator.

Over the same period during the 2011 end-of-year campaign, 151 motorists were arrested, he said.

[RELATED: La Quinta Police Announce 3 DUI Checkpoints for December]

According to Showalter, no DUI-related fatalities were reported over the weekend. However, there was a rollover crash in Coachella that resulted in major injuries to the driver, Rebecca Nunez.

"A preliminary investigation indicated that alcohol consumption was a factor in this collision," Showalter said. "Last year, there were three alcohol-related deaths during this same time period."

In the coming week, agencies countywide will be staffing sobriety checkpoints, as well as conducting saturation patrols, targeting motorists who may be under the influence.

Checkpoints are planned in Desert Hot Springs, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, San Jacinto and Riverside, while saturation patrols are scheduled in Beaumont, Blythe, Coachella, Eastvale, Hemet, Jurupa Valley, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Temecula.

During last year's Avoid the 30 two-week crackdown, 682 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI.

This year's effort, part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, will conclude on New Year's Day.

The CHP's "maximum enforcement period," when all available officers hit the streets to nab traffic violators, will coincide with Avoid operations on Christmas and New Year's.


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