Law enforcement agencies throughout the Bay Area will be cracking down on impaired drivers and are urging travelers to stay safe during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The three-day holiday will be a maximum enforcement period for the California Highway Patrol, which will be looking for people driving under the influence or without a seatbelt. CHP officers arrested 1,450 drivers statewide for DUI during Memorial Day weekend last year.
"Memorial Day weekend can be a safe celebration for everyone. It's about making sound decisions and planning ahead before you head out on the highway," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a prepared statement.
Several agencies from Contra Costa County will be conducting a DUI checkpoint in El Cerrito between 7 p.m. today and 3 a.m. Saturday, while police in Concord, Livermore and Pittsburg will hold checkpoints and maintain roving anti-DUI patrols on Saturday and Sunday evening.
San Francisco police will be conducting a DUI saturation patrol by its motorcycle units on Friday night and a cooperative sobriety checkpoint will be held in the city on Saturday night.
In Sonoma County, the Petaluma Police Department is serving as the lead agency for regional DUI enforcement efforts, and will hold a DUI and driver's license checkpoint in Petaluma on tonight. DUI saturation patrols will also be out on Saturday and Sunday night throughout the county.
During the Memorial Day weekend in 2008, 38 people died in California's roads, and 68 percent of those killed on highways were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to the CHP.
"Many of those deaths could have been easily avoided by taking just one second to buckle a seat belt," Farrow said. "Unfortunately, too many motorists still need a reminder, which is why our officers will be on the lookout for those who are not buckled up."