KTLA Channel 5 LA’s Very Own News reported recently that California Highway Patrol troopers arrested 244 drivers for suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DUI) on New Year’s Eve during a pre-planned maximum enforcement period, a significant increase over the number of DUI arrests made in previous years.
The California Highway Patrol institutes a 30-hour-long maximum enforcement period over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day each year, a period in which they surge extra personnel into the field on patrols in an attempt to cut down on the number of intoxicated drivers on California roads during the holiday. During the entire 30-hour period in 2019, 491 allegedly impaired drivers were arrested and taken into custody for DUI; in 2020, 244 were arrested in ⅕ of that time, although total final numbers are yet to be released.
In addition, 13 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on Thursday night, more than four times the total for the entire period in the prior year.
The California Highway Patrol issued the following statement: “To help bolster its holiday traffic safety effort, the CHP will partner with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota state patrols in the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition for the “Drive High, get a DUI,” campaign. With the focus of the New Year’s operation to identify and remove impaired drivers from the road, the CHP will ensure a contingent of its 579 Drug Recognition Evaluators are available to perform evaluations.“