LANCASTER – Independence Day is a holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by America’s forefathers. Many of you will celebrate this occasion with outdoor barbeques, picnics and social gatherings. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) encourages you to enjoy the holiday, but always designate a sober driver and buckle up.
The CHP will be out in full force during the holiday weekend in an effort to reduce roadway deaths and prevent injuries. The Independence Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins on Thursday, July 3 at 6 p.m. and continues through Sunday, July 6, at 11:59 p.m.
All available officers throughout the state will be deployed during the MEP to focus enforcement on occupant restraints, speed violations, and those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
During the 2013 Independence Day weekend, 56 people were killed in collisions throughout California. Among those killed within CHP jurisdiction, nearly 70 percent were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.
“Our goal is to use education and enforcement to get the message out to be responsible this weekend,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “We want everyone to have a great Independence Day weekend, but we also want you to do it safely and responsibly.”
CHP officers made more than 1,500 arrests for driving under the influence during the 2013 Independence Day weekend. The CHP will be on the lookout again this year for impaired drivers, and officers will be arresting those who make the decision to drink and drive.
“The CHP’s mission is to save lives. This MEP is in place to help ensure everyone gets home safe to their families, friends, and loved ones this Independence Day weekend,” added Commissioner Farrow.