SACRAMENTO – The California Highway Patrol has deployed all available officers this weekend for its Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), which began at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 25.
The focus of the MEP is speed limit enforcement, but officers will also be watching for all signs of impaired driving, according to a CHP news release.
“We want everyone to enjoy their holiday celebration, which means protecting yourself, your passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians,” CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley stated. “Fasten your seat belt, drive sober, and pay attention to the roadway.”
Twenty-three people died in collisions in CHP jurisdiction during the 2016 Christmas MEP. Of the 16 vehicle occupants who were killed, half were not wearing a seat belt. Five pedestrians and two motorcyclists were also killed, and 621 people were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in CHP jurisdiction.
Any impaired driving, whether by alcohol, legal drugs, or illegal drugs, can result in a DUI arrest, according to the CHP.
“A slowed reaction due to medication is as dangerous as any other impairment and will increase the risk of a traffic collision… The fine for a first-offense DUI along with associated costs can total more than $15,000 in California,” CHP officials said in the news release.