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Ringing In The New Year Safely Behind The Wheel

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Sonora, CA — The CHP hits the roadways in full force this holiday weekend in the Mother Lode.

The CHP’s Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins at 6 p.m. Friday and runs until midnight on Sunday with all available personnel on duty.  Officers will watch for distracted drivers, speeding, and seat belt violations, but their main target according to CHP spokesperson Officer Joshua McKernan, “All forms of impaired driving including drugs, alcohol and even fatigued drivers.”

Last year during the New Year Holiday, the CHP reported that statewide there were 36 deaths, 30 of them were occupants in the vehicle and 15 were not wearing seat belts. That number also included two motorcyclists and four pedestrians.  Also, there were 1,200 DUI arrests made in the state.

Motorists are asked to call 9-1-1 if they witness an impaired driver. It is best to get the license plate number and the location, according to the CHP, which also advises not try to stop the vehicle or follow it.

The CHP offers these tips for driving safely during the holiday weekend:

  • Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation if you are impaired.
  • Offer a variety of non-alcoholic drinks for sober drivers if hosting a party.
  • If someone is impaired, don’t let them drive. Assist with making arrangements to get them home safely.