Don't drink and drive is the message law enforcement and others want to get out to the public this holiday.
In the South Bay, including Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the regional DUI task force, will be on area streets looking for any motorist who is driving under the influence from 6 p.m. Wednesday until at least 2 a.m. Thursday, said Sergeant Aaron Corkins of the El Segundo Police Department.
On Saturday, June 30, the regional DUI task force, part of law enforcement's Avoid the 100 DUI Campaign, made 12 DUI arrests throughout the South Bay, said Sgt. Corkins.
"Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes," said Wendy Brewer of the Avoid the 100 DUI Campaign. "Often, Fourth of July celebrations start during the day, but last well into the night -- making the dangers from impaired drivers even higher at night."
The campaign is a coordinated effort among law enforcement agencies that includes increased patrols and sobriety/driver's license checkpoints. The increased enforcement efforts in the Los Angeles area being Tuesday and continue through Sunday, Brewer said.
"With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, many in our community will be taking the rest of the week off, so DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols will be out in force throughout the weekend," said Brewer, a Glendora police community service officer.
Brewer urged people to follow these common-sense guidelines:
-- plan a safe way home before a party;
-- before drinking, designate a sober driver;
-- if you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member,
use public transportation or use your community's sober ride program;
-- take the car keys away from someone you know who is about to drive
while impaired, and help them make arrangements to get home safely; and
-- call 911 if you see someone driving drunk.
Funding for the Avoid Campaign is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.