Holiday travel means enhanced enforcement for CHP | TheUnion.com

Holiday travel means enhanced enforcement for CHP

Submitted to The Union

SACRAMENTO — As Californians get ready for holiday travel, the California Highway Patrol is set to begin its Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period, according to a release. The holiday enforcement effort is designed to help ensure the safety of the motoring public during a time when celebrations are in full swing.

The period begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through 11:59 p.m. Monday. The focus is speed-limit enforcement, but officers will also be watching for all 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.

"We want everyone to enjoy their holiday celebration, which means protecting yourself, your passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians," CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. "Fasten your seat belt, drive sober and pay attention to the roadway."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nationwide, 781 people died in impaired-driving related collisions during December 2016.

Twenty-three people died in collisions in CHP jurisdiction during the 2016 Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period. Of the 16 vehicle occupants who were killed, half were not wearing a seat belt. Five pedestrians and two motorcyclists were also killed and 621 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in CHP jurisdiction. In all California jurisdictions, including local police and sheriffs' departments, 36 people died in collisions, according to the release.

Any 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 major hit in the wallet. 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.

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Source: California Highway Patrol