All available California Highway Patrol officers will be on duty during the Labor Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), from 6:01 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4, authorities announced.
Drug recognition experts and CHP officers will be on patrol watching for impaired drivers as well as assisting motorists in need throughout the holiday weekend.
“Our officers will be out finding dangerous drivers during the holiday period, showing zero tolerance for anyone driving drunk or impaired by drugs,” stated CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley. “Anyone who chooses to drive impaired puts not only themselves and their passengers at risk, but they also endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, and others on the road.”
During the 2016 MEP, 38 people were killed in traffic collisions in California, an increase of almost 19 percent from 2015, according to data collected by the CHP. In addition, the CHP made more than 1,000 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over Labor Day weekend in 2016.
Impaired driving often peaks during holidays, and Labor Day is considered one of the most dangerous periods, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports. The 2015 Labor Day holiday period saw 460 people killed in collisions nationwide; nearly one-third of the fatal collisions involved drivers who were legally drunk.
“The Labor Day holiday should be a special time for friends and families at the end of summer, not a time of tragedy,” Acting Commissioner Stanley said. “Impaired driving, whether as a result of drugs or alcohol, is 100-percent preventable, and there is no excuse for it.”
Anyone who is going to drink is urged to plan a sober ride home in advance. Anyone who sees an impaired driver is encouraged to call 9-1-1.
[Information via news release from the California Highway Patrol.]