California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers. Courtesy CHP

The California Highway Patrol’s Maximum Enforcement Period for the New Year’s holiday begins Thursday evening.

While the state is advising residents to stay home as much as possible, avoid gatherings and avoid traveling significant distances in an effort to reverse the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, New Year’s Eve 2020 will undoubtedly look different than in years past.

What will not be different is that the CHP will be out in force, removing impaired drivers from the road and assisting those in need.

“Heading into the new year, the mission of the CHP is unchanged to provide the highest level of safety, service and security,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Together, with the public’s commitment to safe and sober driving, our officers will continue to work to make California’s roadways safe for all who use them.”

This year more than ever, the safest New Year’s Eve is one spent at home. To encourage safe travel for those who are on the road, the CHP will enact a Maximum Enforcement Period from 6:01 p.m. Thursday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

With the focus of the New Year’s operation on identifying and removing impaired drivers from the road, the CHP will ensure drug-recognition evaluators are available to perform evaluations.

At least three people died in crashes in California during the New Year’s enforcement period in 2019. During that 30-hour traffic safety effort, the CHP made 491 arrests statewide for driving under the influence.

–City News Service

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