Police on alert for drunk drivers

Merced County police agencies are warning residents to avoid driving drunk on Independence Day.

Officers will be out in full force cracking down on impaired drivers with an aggressive enforce- ment blitz called "Over the Limit. Under Arrest."

Merced County law enforcement agencies will be setting up DUI and drivers license checkpoints and will also conduct DUI "saturation patrols."

They will continue through Sunday morning. All police, sheriff and CHP patrols are involved.

The California Highway Patrol is sending 80 percent of all officers onto roadways to prevent drunken driving.

Last July 4 holiday, the CHP's Merced office reported 30 DUI arrests and 10 traffic collisions, significant increase from the previous year.

-- Danielle Gaines