SACRAMENTO, Calif. â€“ The safest resolution a person can make this year is to always plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebration begins. To help ensure the stateâ€™s motorists keep this lifesaving commitment, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is preparing to ring in the New Year with an increased enforcement presence throughout the state.
Over last New Yearâ€™s holiday, 25 people were killed in collisions throughout California; the majority of those who died within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Additionally, CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI).
â€œSafety is the California Highway Patrolâ€™s priority year round,â€ said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. â€œHopefully with the presence of additional officers on the roadway during the holiday season, everyone will arrive safely at their destination.â€
The New Yearâ€™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.
â€œThis New Year, resolve to make a difference and save lives,â€ added Commissioner Farrow. â€œBy removing impaired drivers from our roadways, this tragic loss of life can be greatly reduced.â€
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.
â€œOur 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,â€ added Commissioner Farrow.