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California Highway Patrol ‘maximum enforcement’ period begins

A maximum enforcement period will be enforced for the new year by the California Highway Patrol on Friday to crack down on drunk and drug-impaired drivers throughout San Diego county.
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A maximum enforcement period will be enforced for the new year by the California Highway Patrol on Friday to crack down on drunk and drug-impaired drivers throughout San Diego county. 

All available officers will be deployed to scan roads for impaired motorists, speeders, and other traffic violators. According to the CHP, the initiative will continue until Sunday night. Law enforcement officials are urging people to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations safely. 

“Ringing in the New Year should be an exciting time filled with celebration and hope,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “To help keep the roadways safe through the holiday and beyond, our officers will be out in force to deter, detect and remove impaired drivers.”

The 2020-21 New Year’s MEP netted 709 DUI arrests statewide, compared to 491 in the 2019-20 campaign, which lasted only 30 hours because it was conducted in the middle of the week. 

According to the CHP, 56 people died in crashes investigated by the agency during last year’s campaign. Roughly half of the fatalities involved individuals who were not wearing safety restraints of any kind, officials said.

San Diego has seen the highest number of DUI-related crashes this year compared to the last two years with 37 people who have died so far, according to San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan in a statement.

Substances that may impair driving could result in a DUI arrest. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services recommends the following and urges motorists to take personal responsibility by planning ahead before the holiday celebration begins. 

  • Designate a non-drinking
  • Take a ride service
  • Stay where you are
  • Take public transportation like a taxi, a bus, or a train.
  • Phone a sober friend
  • If you’re a host, provide alternative drinks to your guests

To report someone driving under the influence, call 9-1-1.  Be prepared to provide the dispatcher with a location, direction of travel, and vehicle description.