Police: DUI deaths increased in 2013 in Riverside and California

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News headline from the Riverside Police Department:

During the holiday-winter DUI crackdown a significant number of DUI arrests from routine traffic enforcement and special Avoid the 30 DUI deployments in Riverside County have occurred.

From 12:01 a.m., Friday, December 13, 2013, through midnight, Monday, December 30, 2013, officers representing thirty Riverside County law enforcement arrested 642 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  In 2012 arrests were higher as 703 DUI arrests occurred during the same eighteen day time period.

Tragically, there were two deaths attributed to an impaired driver in our county.  Monique Elisa Johnson was driving a 2013 Mazda at high speed when she rear-ended a slower moving motorcycle driven by Mark Esparza of Rialto.  Mr. Esparza was taken to Riverside Community Hospital where he died. Jail records show Ms. Johnson was booked for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunken driving, hit-and-run driving resulting in death, and a misdemeanor count of filing a false crime report after she fled the scene.

The other fatality occurred on the southbound 215 freeway at Fair Isle on December 26th.  At 0320 hours, a wrong-way driver of a 2006 Chevy Impala collided with a 2004 Toyota.  The driver of the Chevy Impala, 24-year-old Patricia Star of Moreno Valley, was seriously injured and taken to Riverside Community Hospital with an injured passenger.  The driver of the other vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene and two passengers were taken to Riverside Community Hospital for treatment of their injuries as well.

Last year, there was only one death attributed to an impaired driver during this same time period.

Filed under Headline, Inside

Sunday, January 19, 2014


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