Nearly 50 people were arrested for suspicion of drunken driving in a Christmas weekend crackdown in the Riverside area, authorities said today.
The California Highway Patrol’s “maximum enforcement period,” which ran from Friday night to Tuesday night, netted 49 drunken arrests on highways and county roads patrolled by officers from the CHP Riverside office.
During last year’s Christmas period, 23 people were arrested.
That campaign, however, was two days shorter because Christmas fell on a Sunday.
Between Friday and Tuesday, there were 37 collisions locally, one of which involved a fatality, according to Officer Steve Carapia. He said 140 citations were issued for a variety of infractions.
The enforcement effort coincided with the Riverside County Avoid the 30 task force’s end-of-year holiday crackdown, which got under way on Friday Dec. 14 and concludes Tuesday Jan. 1.
As of Monday, the Avoid campaign had racked up 304 drunken driving arrests, compared to 400 during the same period in 2011, according to Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter, the Avoid coordinator.
The task force will deploy saturation patrols and staff sobriety checkpoints countywide this week to snare drunken or drug-impaired motorists.