LANCASTER – With Fourth of July revelry set to begin, local law enforcement agencies will be on heightened alert beginning Wednesday evening and continuing through the weekend to crack down on drunken and drug- impaired drivers.
The California Highway Patrol will begin a “maximum enforcement period” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, continuing through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 7. All available officers will be on the streets searching for impaired motorists.
“Do not lose your freedom while celebrating our country’s independence this weekend by making a bad choice,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Driving impaired comes with consequences that can be deadly. Driving sober, fastening seat belts and avoiding distractions will help everyone stay safe on the roadway.”
During last year’s one-day Fourth of July MEP, the CHP arrested 389 motorists on suspicion of DUI statewide, compared to 1,244 in the 2017 campaign, which spanned four days. According to the agency, 18 people were killed in collisions investigated by the CHP during the 2018 enforcement effort.
Local law enforcement agencies are warning residents against drinking and driving.
“We say it often – there are so many options, there is no reason to drive intoxicated, buzzed or under the influence of marijuana,” states a news release from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
People planning to drink over the holiday weekend are urged arrange for a designated driver or rely on public transit, taxis or ride-hailing services.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, meanwhile, will be offering its free Tipsy Tow service from 6 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday in 13 counties. The service officers motorists a free tow home up to seven miles.
The service is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver to the residence listed on the motorist’s driver’s license. For rides longer than seven miles, drivers will have to pay the normal rate charged by the two truck operator.
To take advantage of the service, people should call 800-400-4222 and say, “I need a Tipsy Tow.”