Officers will target impaired drivers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As Californians travel this week, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is set to begin its Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). This additional enforcement is intended to further ensure the safety of the motoring public during the holidays.

The MEP begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 21, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 25. The focus of the MEP is speed limit enforcement, but officers will also be watching for any signs of impaired driving. During this period, all available officers will be out on the roadways for enhanced enforcement efforts and assisting motorists wherever needed.

“The California Highway Patrol wishes everyone a happy and, most importantly, safe holiday season,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Please remember to drive sober, avoid distractions, always buckle up, leave plenty of time to reach your destination, and consider the possibility of inclement weather.”

The holiday season brings celebrations and time spent with family and friends, but unfortunately they also result in a considerable loss of life on California’s roadways.

Sixteen people died in collisions in CHP jurisdiction during the 2017 Christmas MEP. Of the 12 vehicle occupants who were killed, half were not wearing a seat belt. Three pedestrians and one motorcyclist were also killed, and the CHP made 917 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Statewide, 27 people were killed in collisions.

Impaired driving, whether by alcohol, legal drugs, or illegal drugs, can result in a DUI arrest. A slowed reaction due to medication is as dangerous as any other impairment and will increase the risk of a traffic collision. An impaired driving arrest can also mean a significant financial impact. The fine for a first-offense DUI along with associated costs can total more than $15,000 in California. If you see an impaired driver, call 9-1-1 when you can do so safely.