Nearly 500 DUI arrests have already been made throughout Los Angeles County since Friday in the leadup to July 4, the Avoid the 100 DUI Campaign announced Wednesday night.
Law enforcement officers from around the Southland have already been out in force in a crackdown on motorists who drive while impaired during the Independence Day holiday period.
The campaign officially began last Friday.
"Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes," said Wendy Brewer of the Avoid the 100 DUI Campaign. "Often, Fourth of July celebrations start during the day, but last well into the night—making the dangers from impaired drivers even higher at night."
The campaign is a coordinated effort among law enforcement agencies that includes increased patrols and sobriety/driver's license checkpoints.
"With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, many in our community will be taking the rest of the week off, so DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols will be out in force," said Brewer, a Glendora police community service officer.
DUI arrest data collection will continue through midnight Saturday. Additionally, California Highway Patrol officers in areas patrolled by the state agency are also out in force.
On July 4, the Avoid the DUI Campaign is operating in El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach and Torrance.
Possibly as part of the campaign, police set up a checkpoint near the border of Torrance and Palos Verdes Estates on Palos Verdes Drive North on Wednesday night.
In addition, the CHP is concentrating its efforts in South Los Angeles, Central Los Angeles, Baldwin Park and Altadena. The Los Angeles Police Department will be DUI patrolling in the Harbor area and the sheriff's department will concentrate on Lynwood.
On Thursday, there will be a DUI checkpoint in Norwalk operated by the sheriff's department and a DUI checkpoint in the Olympic area conducted by the LAPD.
On Friday, the Avoid the DUI Task Force will combine forces from Baldwin Park, West Covina, Baldwin Park, El Monte, Monrovia, Arcadia and Sierra Madre to patrol their areas.
The CHP will maintain DUI checkpoints in Newhall and the West Valley. On Friday, the LAPD will concentrate on the Pacific area and the southeast.
Officers from Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, Montebello and Bell Gardens will combine forces to patrol their areas.
Glendora, Pomona, Claremont, La Verne, Covina, Azusa and Irwindale will conduct joint patrols as well.
The CHP will conduct DUI patrols in Baldwin Park and the Antelope Valley.
There will be a DUI checkpoint in San Gabriel and the CHP will operate checkpoints in Baldwin Park and Altadena. The LAPD will conduct checkpoints in the Foothill and Mission areas.
There will be joint DUI patrols that same evening with various local police forces in Glendale, South Pasadena, Pasadena, Burbank, San Marino and San Fernando.
Also, the CHP has been conducting a Maximum Enforcement Period with all available officers on the region's freeways, state highways and unincorporated roads from 6 p.m. Tuesday through midnight Wednesday.
Brewer urged people to follow these common-sense guidelines:
- plan a safe way home before a party
- before drinking, designate a sober driver
- if you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or use your community's sober ride program
- drivers who need a tow home can use the
- take the car keys away from someone you know who is about to drive while impaired, and help them make arrangements to get home safely
- call 911 if you see someone driving drunk
Funding for the Avoid Campaign is provided from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.