Authorities up patrol of drunken driving for holiday

05/23/2013 5:32 PM

05/23/2013 5:58 PM

Merced County law enforcement will beef up patrols during the Memorial Day weekend with a multi-agency effort.

Avoid the 11, an effort involving 11 Merced County law enforcement agencies, plans license checkpoints and DUI “saturation” patrols through Monday, according to a news release.

"Friends and families will gather for celebrations and to start the summer season, often with alcohol this three-day weekend,” the release stated. “Law enforcement is reminding everyone to make plans now for those weekend trips and partying.”

Los Banos Police sobriety checkpoint is set Friday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. in Los Banos. Police in Atwater, Los Banos and Merced will assign roving patrols beginning Friday and continuing through Monday, according to the release.

CHP plans maximum enforcement from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Monday.

Law enforcement is asking for support this weekend and into the summer with some tips:

Plan ahead by arranging rides for friends, family and yourself before the drinking begins.

Hosts and servers should limit drinks by not serving more than one or two over several hours.

Identify and provide non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers.

Cut back on the amount of drinks at the party, and provide plenty of food.

If you see dangerous driving, report drunken drivers by calling 911.

Funding for the Avoid DUI Task Force is by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

--Thaddeus Miller

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