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 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, 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, ride-hailing services, public transportation or calling friends or relatives.
The Los Angeles Police Department reminded motorists that taking a taxi or ride-hailing service might cost about $20, while a DUI arrest can cost up to $10,000.