SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Last year, CHP Officers made over 1,000 New Year DUI arrests and they’re hoping this year everyone makes a resolution to get home safe.
Just like we associate New Year's Eve with a champagne toast, CHP officers associate the holiday with an all hands on deck DUI crackdown and they hope finding a designated driver isn’t an acquaintance you forgot.
While many of us are dusting off our party clothes, CHP officers are gearing up for another Maximum Enforcement period to ensure you live to see 2020.
“So in December we had a two-day maximum enforcement, which is the same as this one coming up and we had 271 DUI’s. We had 10 people die on our roadways and five of those people were not wearing seatbelts,” explains California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Jonathan Gutierrez.
During last year’s new year’s festivities officers made 1,140 impaired driving arrests statewide but since the revelry lands in the middle of the workweek this year, the CHP hopes that number will be smaller.
“A lot of people are drinking and driving and our goal is to make it so these people aren’t doing that. We like to ask people to celebrate but celebrate safely call an Uber, Lyft, a taxi, a friend or family member. Please be responsible,” said Officer Gutierrez.
Officer Jonathan Gutierrez says every available officer will be out on the roads.
“We have a lot of people that are speeding, they’re either driving too fast or they’re driving too slow. They’re also making really wide turns at night time and not using their headlights. That draws our attention for DUI’s,” said Officer Gutierrez
After last weeks’ traffic nightmare, officers are also keeping an eye on the Grapevine.
“We were just handling call to call to call and the Grapevine, the Newhall area, they had Caltrans working with them trying to clear the road we were also doing escorts in the middle of the day to bring people through to expedite the flow of traffic.
CHP is closely monitoring the situation via social media and Gutierrez says if there is another shutdown, ring in the new year at home.
“The 101 can’t handle all of the traffic in California all at once,” said Gutierrez.
CHP has also joined forces with five other western states saying there’s “no safe place for impaired drivers.”