Friday, January 2, 2009

Primary California DUI enforcement this weekend

California DUI defense lawyers and California drunk driving criminal attorneys at report California Highway Patrol will deploy all available officers throughout Riverside County tonight and into the weekend in a New Year's holiday crackdown on drunken driving, speeding and other violations.

The CHP's ``maximum enforcement period,'' during which 80 percent of the agency's officers hit the streets, begins at 6 p.m. today and concludes at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Officers will ratchet up their efforts to catch drivers under-the- influence, as well as other motorists responsible for ``primary collision factors,'' such as speeding and unsafe lane changes, according to Riverside-area CHP Officer Sylvia Mosley.

During last year's New Year's MEP, three people died in traffic collisions in Riverside County. Statewide, 35 people were killed, according to the CHP.

In the 2007 New Year's enforcement campaign, Riverside-area CHP officers
arrested 44 suspected DUI offenders, wrote 364 speeding tickets and issued 38
citations for seatbelt and child restraint violations, according to the CHP.

Statewide, 1,759 people were arrested for alleged DUI during the New Year's MEP last year, according to CHP spokeswoman Jaime Coffee.

``We're encouraging people to designate a non-drinking driver (when traveling),'' she said. ``That's just a matter of planning ahead.''

Coffee also said motorists need to remember that, beginning tomorrow, text-messaging while driving will be illegal in California.

Under SB 28, reading, writing or sending a text message via a wireless device is prohibited and can result in a $20 fine for a first offense, and $50 for each additional violation.