SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Law enforcement officers across San Diego County will be out in force to catch suspected drunken drivers Wednesday night.

Starting about 7 p.m, targeted DUI patrols will begin in several jurisdictions, including La Mesa and in unincorporated areas.

Alcohol, congested traffic and long-distance trips over the Thanksgiving holiday conspire to make it one of the toughest periods of the year on the roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Sheriff's deputies urged people to designate a sober driver and to report suspected drunken drivers.

As part of Sheriff Bill Gore's "Holiday Watch," deputies across the county will do saturation patrols targeting drunken drivers. They, however, will not turn a blind eye to speeders, seatbelt scofflaws and drivers spotted holding telephones to their ear.

"Seat belts have saved more lives than any other single piece of automotive safety equipment," Gore said. "But in order for them to work, they have to be used."

La Mesa police will also have extra officers on duty through the holiday weekend to look for suspected drunken drivers as part of an effort to reduce the number of people hurt or killed in alcohol-related crashes.

Funding for drunken driving operations is largely provided by the federal government and administered by the state Office of Traffic Safety.