CHP will be ‘out in full force'
With holiday celebrations in full swing, the California Highway Patrol is preparing for increased enforcement this weekend to ensure safety on the road.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement for New Year's weekend begins Friday, said CHP Public Information Officer Tracy Hoover.
"Our officers will be out in full force," said Hoover, who works out of the Willows office.
The CHP's maximum enforcement period will run from 6 p.m. Friday and continue to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
The CHP is reminding motorists to observe the speed limit, refrain from drinking and driving and to make sure to wear seat belts during their holiday travels.
"This time of year is a heavy travel period," Hoover said. "We will be looking for impaired drivers."
Last year during the New Year's holiday weekend, 25 people were killed in collisions in California.
In addition, 1,270 people were arrested by CHP on suspicion of drunken driving, the agency said.
The figures were from a 78-hour span from Friday through Monday.
"Now is the time of year when celebrations increase, as well as the chance of encountering an impaired driver," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow, in a statement. "One way to keep everyone safe, and reduce the odds of spending the holidays in jail, is to designate a non-drinking driver in advance. Your life may depend on it."
The holiday season can be particularly dangerous for drivers, Farrow said.
Young adults, males and those driving at night, are among those who have the greatest risk of being involved in a collision with an alcohol-impaired driver or worse yet, losing their lives.
Local law enforcement agencies will also be out in force, officials said.
The winter holidays also pose some of the toughest challenges for law enforcement, the CHP said.
"Inclement weather, holiday celebrations, and drivers in a hurry to get to their destination can make for a deadly combination."
The CHP recommends planning ahead, designating a driver beforehand or making suitable arrangements for a safe way home.
"If you drink, don't drive," Hoover said.
Along with the increased enforcement effort, the CHP is asking motorists to help keep the state's roadways safe by calling 911 to report a suspected drunk driver.
Callers should be prepared to provide dispatchers a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.