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Drive Into The New Year Safely

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Sonora, CA – After seeing a double in one statistic over the Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), the CHP is making that a top priority during the New Year holiday.

Tonight at 6:01 p.m., the CHP statewide MEP begins for the holiday weekend, and the statistics from this Christmas holiday are influencing the number one violation officers will be looking for on Tuolumne County highways.

“The Sonora area made eight DUI arrests, which is approximately double the arrests made last year for the same timeframe,” stated CHP Sonora Unit spokesperson Officer Joshua McKernan, adding, “Maybe people aren’t using the designated driver as they have in years past. It’s a bit alarming to see the number double in just one year.”

During the period locally, there were no fatal crashes, but statewide, 20 people were killed in collisions, and more than 900 driving-under-the-influence arrests were made, an average of one every five minutes.

“Our personnel work through the holidays to help ensure people arrive safely at their destinations,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “The goal is to maintain a safe environment on California’s roads, which is achievable when all motorists make responsible decisions behind the wheel.”

Besides DUI, McKernan noted other traffic violation officers will be watching out for during the New Year MEP, noting, “We’re going to have our officers assisting drivers. They’re also looking for failure to wear a seatbelt, speeding, and distracted driving.”

During the 2022 New Year’s MEP, CHP officers made 570 DUI arrests across the state. The CHP urges those celebrating to designate a sober driver or use ride-share services. Also, if you suspect an impaired driver, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel.

This year’s MEP runs through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

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