LANCASTER – Dozens of California Highway Patrol officers saturated the streets of the Antelope Valley Saturday night as part of an Impaired Driver Task Force Operation focused on removing impaired drivers from the road.
“We’re saturating the entire Antelope Valley in our efforts to reduce the number of crashes involving DUI,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez. “Our goal is to try and catch them before they crash and hurt themselves, or hurt or kill somebody else.”
The operation began a little before 9 p.m.; and at least three arrests were made within the first hour.
Just 15 minutes into the operation, officers spotted a driver weaving along the southbound 14 Freeway, just south of Avenue K.
David Morales, 56, of Palmdale, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence – his 4th DUI arrest, according to officers at the scene.
“During the investigation it was determined that Mr. Morales has three prior DUIs,” Hernandez said. “This being his fourth [DUI arrest], it’s a felony.”
Minutes later, another driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI on the 14 Freeway near Avenue M.
About 30 minutes after that, a driver was arrested down the street from the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. Paul Rivas, 35, of Quartz Hill, was arrested on suspicious of driving under the influence on Avenue H, just east of 30th Street West.
The task force wrapped the operation in the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 17.
Results from Impaired Driver Task Force Operation
* 18 arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence
* 3 felony drug arrests
* 7 vehicles stored or impounded