The California Highway Patrol is preparing to ring in the New Year with an increased enforcement presence throughout the state to help ensure motorists plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebration begins.
Last New Year’s holiday, 25 people were killed in collisions throughout the state; the majority of those who died within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Additionally, Highway Patrol officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence.
“Safety is the California Highway Patrol’s priority year-round,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Hopefully with the presence of additional officers on the roadway during the holiday season, everyone will arrive safely at their destination.”
The New Year’s maximum enforcement period begins at 6 p.m. today and continues through Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.
The increased enforcement effort follows a similar one that occurred during the recent Christmas holiday.
During the 102-hour Christmas holiday, 39 people were killed in collisions and Highway Patrol officers arrested 1,170 drivers for driving under the influence.
“This New Year, resolve to make a difference and save lives,” Farrow said. “By removing impaired drivers from our roadways, this tragic loss of life can be greatly reduced.”
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, callers should 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,” Farrow said.
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