California Highway Patrol maximum enforcement period begins tonight, December 30

Posted at 9:10 AM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 13:43:35-05

The California Highway Patrol encourages motorists to begin their New Year with safe celebrations.

"Driving while impaired is a crime that seriously risks your safety and the safety of those around you," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "If you drive while impaired, you could get arrested or worse - be involved in a traffic collision that causes serious injury or death."

CHP will designate December 30, 2016 at 6:01 p.m. to January 2, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). All available personnel will be on duty. CHP will be on the lookout for impaired drivers as well as distracted driving, speeding, seatbelt violations and motorists in need of help.

During New Year's 2015, 27 people died as a result of collisions on California roadways. CHP officers also made over 900 arrests for driving under the influence during last year's New Year's MEP.

There are a number of alternatives to driving impaired, which include:

  • Calling a taxi or ride service, such as Lyft or Uber
  • Getting a ride from a sober family member or friend
  • Using public transportation

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during December holidays involve drunk drivers. This is a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month.