The California Highway Patrol is urging people to drive safe and sober during New Years weekend, and promises officers will be out to enforce traffic laws—especially drunken driving—for those who aren't.
The CHP has increased enforcement starting at 6 p.m. last Friday and will continue through noon on Tuesday.
“Hopefully with the presence of additional officers on the roadway during the holiday season, everyone will arrive safely at their destination," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a prepared statement.
Farrow encouraged people to designate a sober driver before celebrations begin. For those who don't, AAA is offering Tipsy Tow on New Years. The free service provides a one-way ride for the driver and tow for the vehicle to the driver's home—up to 10 miles.
Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home from 6 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Over last New Year’s holiday, 25 people were killed in collisions throughout California. The majority of the highway deaths involved people who were not wearing seat belts, according to the CHP. Highway Patrol officers also made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence during last New Year.
There was increased enforcement earlier this week for the Christmas holiday. Throughout that 102-hour reporting period in California, 39 people were killed in collisions and CHP officers arrested 1,170 drivers for DUI.
“Our ultimate goal is to help prevent avoidable tragedy by encouraging the public to make responsible choices such as designating a sober driver, buckling up, and traveling at a speed safe for conditions,” Farrow said.