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CHP Drunk Driving Arrests Rise

A California Highway Patrol task force activated for the July 4th weekend arrested 461 suspected drunk drivers in Los Angeles County over a 60-hour period ending Sunday morning, officials said.

Officers anticipated making dozens more arrests before the three-day holiday officially ended at midnight Sunday.

Dubbed “Operation Disabled Driver,” the task force used two men per car and a booking team at local jails. Normally, CHP officers drive alone during day hours and must spend valuable road time booking suspects, according to spokesman Michael Eckley of the patrol’s Southern Division.

“I would say the arrests are up maybe 10% over last year,” Eckley said.

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More than 200 of the arrests took place during a 24-hour period beginning Saturday morning.

In addition, the CHP and local police agencies reported eight fatalities on Los Angeles-area streets, including one accident in which a speeding car ran a red light early Friday and struck a second car, killing a man and his three children.

Statewide, the CHP reported 36 people died in traffic accidents during the first 2 1/2 days of the holiday, compared to 47 during the same period last year.

Final statistics will be released today.


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