With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, law enforcement will be out in force beginning Friday evening and continuing through the holiday to crack down on people who over-indulge in alcohol or marijuana and get behind the wheel.
The California Highway Patrol will begin a Maximum Enforcement Period at 6:01 p.m., with all available officers on duty. The stepped-up patrols will continue through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
“Impairment of any kind while driving is illegal. Alcohol, cannabis or legal or illegal drugs can all affect your driving,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Impaired driving is a serious crime that can lead to an arrest, serious injury or death.”
The CHP promised to focus on impaired drivers, but officers will also be watching for distracted driving, speeding and seat belt violations.
Forty people died in collisions on California roadways during last year’s New Year’s enforcement period, including 6 in San Diego County, according to the CHP. More than two- thirds of those people were not wearing seat belts.
Last year, CHP officers arrested 936 motorists for driving under the influence during the New Year’s holiday.
Officials note there are alternatives to driving while impaired, including taxis, rideshare services, public transportation or calling friends or relatives.
“DUI is 100 percent preventable,” said San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit. “There have never been more options than today.”