Update 12:10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020 - Sunday morning the California Highway Patrol said they have removed more than 500 impaired drivers from California's roadways so far during the Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP). Final arrest numbers from the MEP will be released on Monday.
CALIFORNIA - The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says even though traffic has been lighter this holiday season, it is important not to speed and to follow the rules of the road.
The CHP has established a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) to help provide safer travel over the holidays. The MEP started on Thursday, Dec. 24, 202 at 6:01 p.m., and ends on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
During this time, all available officers are going to be on the road for enhanced enforcement and to assist any drivers that need help.
As of Saturday morning, the CHP has averaged one driving under the influence (DUI) arrest every five minutes. The total as of 10:15 Saturday morning was 318 DUI arrests in just 30 hours. The CHP also reported that they arrested 160 impaired drivers during the first six hours of the Christmas MEP.
If the CHP can keep the roads safer, there will be fewer accidents on the highway that could cause people to go to hospital emergency rooms. The California Department of Public Health says ICU beds are a critical resource during the pandemic, and capacity is further limited due to a shortage of ICU nurses and physicians.
"The CHP wants to ensure your safety throughout this unprecedented year," said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. "We are hopeful that the public will do their part and remember to make safety a priority."
The CHP is asking everyone on California's roads to drive sober, avoid distractions, always buckle up, and leave plenty of time to get to their destination. Motorists should avoid driving when tired, impaired, or distracted.
CLICK HERE to find out about some of the new traffic laws in California that will start being enforced in January 2021