California Highway Patrol officers will be on heightened alert for impaired drivers during the Fourth of July holiday weekend beginning at 6 p.m. Friday until midnight Sunday. 

In Santa Barbara, additional deputies will be on patrol Friday between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m.

While many Fourth of July events were canceled because of safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, some bars and restaurants remain open. Deputies will be out in full force to watch for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

“We are all anxious to get out and return to some sense of normalcy,” said Sgt. John Maxwell, supervisor of the Goleta Police Department’s Traffic Unit. “But that doesn’t excuse forgetting how to be safe on the road and driving impaired.”

The Goleta Police Department issued a reminder to the community that impaired driving includes not only driving under the influence of alcohol, but prescription and over-the-counter drugs may interfere with driving abilities as well. 

Residents are asked to stay home if they plan to drink or take medications that impact driving ability. If people choose to go out, police recommend first designating a sober driver.

In 2019, 36 people died in traffic crashes during the 102-hour enforcement effort over the long Fourth of July weekend. CHP officers made 1,317 DUI arrests.

“However you choose to celebrate the weekend, do it without putting yourself or others at risk,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said.

Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.