SACRAMENTO, Calif. – People in the Golden State often enjoy summer weather long after the Labor Day weekend, which in many other states marks the traditional end of summer vacation. To assure that everyone on California’s roadways remain as safe as possible, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be out in force over Labor Day weekend, looking for drunk or impaired drivers, and assisting motorists in need.
During the Labor Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), from 6:01 p.m. Friday, September 4, to 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 7, all available CHP officers will be on duty. Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that high-visibility enforcement, such as an MEP, can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
“Drunk driving is one of the most serious traffic-related issues we face today,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Make sure your plans for your end-of-summer celebrations always include a safe way to get home for yourself and your passengers. If you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested.”
Forty-nine people died in California over both Labor Day weekends in 2014 and 2013. Thirteen of the people killed in CHP jurisdiction in 2014 were not wearing seatbelts.
Nationwide data from NHTSA for Labor Day weekend 2014 show 38 percent of all crash fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. One in five child passenger deaths were in drunk driving crashes.
Last year, CHP officers made more than 1,100 arrests for driving under the influence. If you see a suspected drunk driver, call 9-1-1 if it is safe to do so. Be prepared to assist the dispatcher by giving a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel. Before you call, be aware of your surroundings, especially streets, highways, directions, city or nearest town where you are calling. That phone call may help save someone’s life.
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.