By Michael P. Neufeld
Sacramento, CA – The best way to avoid a drunken driving arrest on New Year’s Eve is not to drink and drive.
LAST NEW YEAR’S
Twenty-five people were killed in collisions throughout California over the New Year’s holiday period last year. The majority of those fatalities reported within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Last year, CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) over the New Year’s holiday.
MAXIMUM ENFORCEMENT PERIOD
The New Year’s Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins Friday, December 28 at 6 p.m. and continues through Tuesday, January 1 at 11:59 p.m. The increased enforcement effort follows a similar one that occurred during the recent Christmas holiday. Throughout that 102-hour reporting period in California, 39 people were killed in collisions and CHP officers arrested 1,170 drivers for DUI.
“Safety is the California Highway Patrol’s priority year round,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow stated in a media release. “Hopefully with the presence of additional officers on the roadway during the holiday season, everyone will arrive safely at their destination.”
“This New Year, resolve to make a difference and save lives,” Commissioner Farrow added. “By removing impaired drivers from our roadways, this tragic loss of life can be greatly reduced.”
REPORT SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVERS
Serving as an additional set of eyes for law enforcement, the public is also encouraged to report drivers who they suspect may be under the influence. When calling 911, be prepared to provide a description of the vehicle, including a license plate number, the location, and its direction of travel.
“Our ultimate goal is to help prevent avoidable tragedy by encouraging the public to make responsible choices, such as designating a sober driver, buckling up, and traveling at a speed safe for conditions,” Commissioner Farrow emphasized.