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California Highway Patrol to begin holiday "maximum enforcement period"

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

The California Highway Patrol will initiate its annual Christmas time "maximum enforcement period" starting at 6 p.m. on Friday and ending late Monday night.

During this time, all available officers will deploy to catch drunken or drug-impaired drivers, speeders and other scofflaws.

Another CHP maximum enforcement period is slated for New Year's weekend.

"As we celebrate the joy of the season, let's make a collective commitment to prioritize safety on our roads," CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee said. "Your loved ones are waiting for you at home,  buckle up, drive responsibly and have a plan that includes a safe, sober ride before you head out for the evening."

During last year's Christmas MEP, CHP officers statewide arrested 639 motorists on suspicion of DUI, compared to 341 the year before, which was of much shorter duration. According to the agency, 26 people died in crashes within the CHP's jurisdiction during Christmas weekend 2022. Almost half of the victims were not wearing safety restraints.

Officers from local law enforcement agencies across Los Angeles County are also expected to be out in force over the holiday weekend. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department plans to have extra patrols on duty through New Year's Day looking for suspected impaired drivers.

"Impaired driving isn't just dangerous, it's illegal," sheriff's Sgt. Michael Lennig said in a statement. "Let's make this a joyful and safe holiday season for everyone on the road. This enforcement period allows us to get the message out that it is essential to act responsibly and plan a sober ride home."

The additional sheriff's patrols are part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, funded in part locally by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

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