The Murrieta Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The checkpoint will take place between the hours of 7 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location within the Murrieta city limits, according to police Sgt. Jim Gruwell.
“Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily,” Gruwell stated in a news release. "When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.”
DUI checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence, the sergeant stated. “Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.”
The Murrieta operation is part of a countywide holiday crackdown amongst the Avoid the 30 task force—named for the number of law enforcement agencies participating. Agencies will be conducting anti-DUI operations from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight on New Year's Day.
Law enforcement officers will be checking drivers at sobriety checkpoints and deploying "saturation patrols" in specific areas.
"You will ... see us making lots of stops during this highly visible enforcement period," said Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator. "If we suspect anyone is driving while under the influence, officers will show zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving."
In southwest Riverside County, checkpoints are planned Friday in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.
During last year's Avoid the 30 year-end crackdown, 758 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI. That is compared to 682 during the same period in 2011, figures showed.
The effort is part of the nationwide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The California Highway Patrol's "maximum enforcement period," when all available officers fan out to catch traffic violators, will coincide with Avoid operations on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Authorities recommended that people planning to imbibe during holiday festivities designate a sober driver, hire a taxi or use a community sober ride program to get home.
Law enforcement officers urged people to report drunken drivers by calling 911.
—City News Service and Maggie Avants contributed to this report.