The California Highway Patrol’s maximum enforcement period for New Year's kicks off a little early this year.
And officers will be out and about looking for all kinds of violations that make roads more dangerous for drivers.
“We'll be out there enforcing our speed laws, aggressive driving, seat belts, cell phone use, unsafe lane changes,” CHP public information officer Jason Morton said. “You know, the same stuff we do everyday.”
The same stuff they do everyday, but beefed up to compensate for an increase in holiday traffic.
AAA estimates more than 12-million Californians will hit the road this holiday season, nearly 700,000 more than last year.
“There's more people on the roadways, so you have more people that are broke down on the side of the road,” Morton said. “Maybe they ran out of gas. So we're there for that as well. It's not just about being out there taking enforcement actions. We're also out there helping the public in the time of need.”
But driving under the influence is one of the main things they're looking out for.
Across the state, CHP officers made 936 arrests for driving under the influence during last year's New Year’s maximum enforcement period.
“They might over indulge in some alcohol drinking at the bar or someone's house party,” Morton said. “And also now we have the marijuana. It's legal now for anybody over 21.”
He says they had a relatively slow Christmas MEP in Shasta County with no deaths, and they're hoping for the same this time around.
“We try to get all the officers we can and put them out there to hopefully save someone's life … to keep the traffic collisions from happening,” Morton said. “So that's a plus for us.”
The MEP runs from 6PM Friday until late New Year’s Day.
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