If you choose to drink and drive this holiday season, those flashing red lights in your rear-view mirror won’t belong to a red-nosed reindeer, but to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer’s vehicle.

If you choose to drink and drive this holiday season, those flashing red lights in your rear-view mirror won’t belong to a red-nosed reindeer, but to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer’s vehicle.


In an effort to keep California’s roads safe, every available CHP officer will be out on the road during the upcoming Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) which began Wednesday, December 24 at 6 p.m. and continues through midnight, Sunday, December 28.


“Consider this a warning,” said Yuba-Sutter CHP Captain Jim Young.  “We will be out there taking a zero tolerance approach and will arrest you if you are drinking and driving.”


CHP officers arrested 1,661 motorists statewide for driving under the influence (DUI) during last year’s Christmas MEP.  During that same time period, 43 people died in the 4,613 collisions that occurred in California.  Among those killed, 18 lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes.
“Remember to designate a non-drinking driver before the celebrating begins, watch your speed and always wear your seatbelt,” added Captain Young. 


Along with the increased enforcement effort, the CHP is asking motorists to help keep the state’s roadways safe by calling 911 to report a suspected drunk driver.  Callers should be prepared to provide dispatchers a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.


“The holiday season is time for family, friends, and celebrations; unfortunately, it is also a time when we see too many alcohol-related highway fatalities,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow, “Even if we save just one life by getting the message out, that is one life that has been spared.”
The CHP will conduct a similar maximum enforcement over the New Year’s holiday weekend, which begins Wednesday, December 31, at 6 p.m., and continues through midnight, Sunday, January 4, 2009.