Beginning with the day before Christmas Eve and continuing through New Years’ Day is typically the maximum enforcement period for many police departments. This means that there are generally more DUI and license checkpoints and they have more police officers patrolling for drivers who are intoxicated. Jurisdictions will do this for any major holiday because holidays are prime times for people to go out drinking. When it comes to how dangerous certain holidays are when it comes to drunken drivers, the Fourth of July holiday takes the top spot. New Years’ Day comes in at the fourth spot, coming in behind both Memorial Day and Labor Day.
KTLA reports on the number of DUI arrests made in California over the New Years’ holiday by the California Highway Patrol. Over the New Years’ Holiday, the California Highway Patrol made almost 500 suspected DUI arrests. In addition, three people were killed in crashes over the holiday time period.
During the New Years’ Day maximum enforcement period, the CHP made 491 arrests. The period began at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and lasted through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.
This is the equivalent of a suspected drunk driver being arrested every four minutes. During the 30-hour period, there were at least three fatal crashes.
In an effort to encourage intoxicated drivers to stay off the road, state agencies widely publicized the maximum enforcement period.
The latest enforcement period was significantly shorter than the previous enforcement period, lasting only 30 hours. Arrests and crashes were also down during the enforcement period this year. Last year, there were 25 people killed and 1,140 arrests.