As a new year approaches, all motorists can resolve to celebrate safely. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) would like to remind everyone to buckle up, avoid distractions while behind the wheel, and have a plan in place if you intend to consume alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
For this New Year’s Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), the CHP will be deploying all available personnel from 6:01 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.
The CHP will focus on impaired drivers, but officers will also watch for distracted driving, speeding, and seat belt violations. As always, officers will be at the service of motorists in need of assistance.
During the recent Christmas Day Maximum Enforcement Period, a 30-hour holiday enforcement effort, which was identical in length to the upcoming New Year Maximum Enforcement Period, 10 people were killed in collisions in California and more than half of the victims killed were not wearing a seat belt. Additionally, CHP officers made 271 arrests for driving under the influence during the MEP.
To help keep the roadways safe over the long New Year holiday period, the CHP is joining forces with five other Western states with the slogan, “No safe place for impaired drivers,” to crack down on drunk and drugged driving.
In partnership with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the state patrols of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington will work as a Western States Traffic Safety Coalition to place special emphasis on the enforcement of drug-impaired driving. The states will jointly stress that driving under the influence means drugs as well as alcohol in their educational efforts.
According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, during the 2018 New Year’s MEP, which was 102 hours in length, at least 25 people were killed and 270 others were injured in collisions involving impaired drivers on California roadways. In addition, CHP officers made 1,140 arrests for impaired driving during the same period.
“Please make smart choices this holiday season. Driving while impaired can have tragic results,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Whether impaired by alcohol or drugs, the result can lead to arrest, injury, or death. Either way, the impact will be life-altering.”
There is no reason to place yourself behind the wheel while impaired, said CHP officials. Have a plan. Public transportation, taxis, ride-sharing, or a designated sober friend or family member are the safe options.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.