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Local cops cracking down on drunk driving, fireworks

CHP, SCV Sheriff’s Station issue warnings

Posted: July 4, 2008 12:31 a.m.
Updated: September 4, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Onlookers enjoy last year's fireworks celebration in the Santa Clarita Valley. Three fireworks shows are planned for tonight in the Santa Clarita Valley.

California Highway Patrol officers will be on high alert today as motorists make their way through the Santa Clarita Valley during the Fourth of July weekend.

“The summer is in full swing and everyone wants to squeeze in as much fun as possible,” said Lt. Ralph Elvira, acting commander of the CHP Newhall area office. “Traffic volumes may be high, and unfortunately, so is the potential for collisions.”

Statewide there were 568 drunk-driving arrests and 18 people died in vehicle-related crashes last year, according to a CHP report.

This year, the CHP will be patrolling local highways during a “Maximum Enforcement Period” that began at 6:01 p.m. Thursday and ends at midnight on Sunday.

The safe driving recommendations made by the CHP include: designating a non-drinking driver, wearing seat belts, maintaining safe speeds for conditions and obeying all traffic laws.

“We want people to think safety whenever they get behind the wheel this summer,” Elvira said. “If a driver chooses to ignore our suggestions, we’ll be there to remind him or her.”

Likewise, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has beefed up its patrol ranks for the holiday weekend, said Lt. Tom Bryski.

The station commander has said deputies will be enforcing the valley’s ban on private use of fireworks.

“(We) strongly urge residents not to participate or affiliate themselves with use illegal fireworks this Fourth of July,” Capt. Anthony La Berge said. “This year, we are in a drought and with the potential for fire or personal injury very high, we are recommending that our residents avoid neighborhood fireworks.

“Instead, make plans to attend a pre-arranged, professionally sanctioned event in the community.”


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