SALINAS, Calif. -

Labor Day weekend is nearly here and law enforcement agencies are trying to make sure people celebrate safely.

The Salinas Police Department set up a DUI check point Thursday night to remind people to drive sober.

"This weekend is historically a bad weekend for crashes. We hear about the ones where people die, but there are a lot of crashes where people were seriously hurt and suffered life-changing injuries, and we are trying to stop those by doing operations like this," said Gerry Ross from Salinas Police Department.

The Salinas Police Department says the most effective operations begin before the weekend.

“Historically, when we run these operations on Thursday nights, we actually have more success than Friday," Ross said.

Salinas P.D. says a few thousand cars will pass thru the check point on Thursday night. More than catching drunk drivers, officers hope to remind people the dangers of driving under the influence, the same reason student volunteers came out to support the cops.

"Innocent people die every year due to drunk driving, so it's a really big problem," said Jose Lopez with Sunrise House.

"If a person is under the influence, it obviously makes us feel really happy that they are off the roads at least for this split second. Maybe down the road they could have hit someone," said Miguel Alcala from Sun Street Centers.

The California Highway Patrol will also be patrolling this weekend.

"Research has shown that high visual presence of law enforcement can reduce collisions up to 20 percent. So we will be doing our maximum enforcement period, which means we will have every available officer working this holiday weekend,” said CHP officer Oscar Loza.

That means from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. This year, CHP is focusing on Highway 1 because of the Soberanes Fire.

"There are still a lot of firefighting operations that are happening on Highway 1, and the Big Sur area. So we are going to make sure that tourists or visitors don't park and block fire equipment, and also don't block the roads waiting to get a turn out," Loza said.