Enforcement campaign aims to deter drunk and dangerous driving over Christmas
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is reminding all Californians to have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the CHP will be conducting an anti-DUI enforcement period over Christmas in order to deter impaired and other dangerous drivers. Authorities say that while the holidays should be a time for fun and relaxation, it is also a period that typically sees a big increase in the number of car accidents both in California and across the country.
The CHP will be working with local law enforcement agencies to conduct what is called a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) this Christmas, during which more officers will be out in force. The MEP will begin in the evening of December 24 and continue until late in the evening of December 28. While the CHP will be focusing on preventing drunk driving during the Christmas MEP, they will also be looking to enforce other safety measures, such seat belt use, speed limits, and limiting distracted driving.
In 2013, a similar Christmas MEP netted 221 arrests for drunk driving. That Christmas MEP also saw five people killed in California traffic accidents, two of whom had not been wearing seat belts.
Holiday driving dangerous
The increased police presence is a reaction to the dangers typically posed by the increased traffic on highways during the holiday season. Authorities say there is often an increase in car accidents between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, with many of those accidents caused by drunk driving. Police say that designating a sober driver at parties and social functions can help save countless lives this season.
The increased danger on the road was shown recently when a Los Angeles man suspected of driving drunk and without a license injured 13 people who were enjoying a Christmas lights display. The accident in Alhambra, while placing one person in intensive care, fortunately did not lead to any fatalities. The driver is being held on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Negligent and reckless driving, such as drunk driving, is a hazard on California’s roads and highways, especially during the busy holiday season. Accidents caused by drunk driving are never truly accidents since they are caused by reckless and dangerous choices made by drivers.
For victims of drunk drivers, the consequences can be devastating and injuries may lead to costly medical bills and time taken off work. Such a heavy financial toll means that victims of these car accidents need to reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss what options may be available. While every case is unique, an experienced attorney can let clients know whether additional claims for compensation can be pursued against any driver whose negligence or recklessness may have caused an accident.