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The California Highway Patrol will crack down on impaired or distracted drivers on San Diego-area freeways and rural roads during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

CHP officers arrested 997 people during a comparable period last year for driving under the influence during the agency’s “maximum enforcement period”. This year, enforcement will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and will conclude at 11: 59 p.m. Monday. 

According to the agency, all available officers focus on preventing dangerous driving and traffic accidents.

“Fill the holiday weekend with celebration and fun activities, not reckless choices that lead to tragedy,'' CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray advised in a prepared statement.

The agency reported 43 deaths on California roadways last year, with more than one-third of those killed did not wear a seat belt. 

Last year's stepped-up CHP Fourth of July enforcement efforts also resulted in the issuance of nearly 10,000 speeding tickets statewide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report last month showing 11,780 deaths in the United States were attributed to speeding last year, an increase of 5 percent over 2020.

“Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination,'' Ray said. “Speeding not only endangers your life but (also) the lives of everyone on the roadway. … Speed is the number-one factor in roadway crashes in California, causing one-third of the traffic-related deaths.''

The Chula Vista Police Department announced it will continue efforts with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control & Office of Traffic Safety to target those who provide alcohol to minors. 

“Please have a safe 4th of July weekend and remember that it is illegal to buy alcohol to anyone under 21!” the department tweeted. 

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