California Highway Patrol officers averaged one DUI arrest every five minutes since Christmas Eve, the agency said Saturday morning.
With many Californians hitting the road during the holiday, CHP officers began a maximum enforcement period to check for those driving impaired, or over the speed limit.
Since stepped up enforcement began 6p.m. on Christmas Eve, a total of 318 people were arrested for driving under the influence statewide in just 30 hours, CHP said in a 10:17 a.m tweet.
That’s around the same number of arrests made during in the first 30 hours of maximum enforcement in this year’s busy Thanksgiving travel week. During this year’s Fourth of July weekend, officers arrested 738 suspected impaired drivers, according to CHP.
“The CHP wants to ensure your safety throughout this unprecedented year,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the public will do their part and remember to make safety a priority.”
In 2017, 16 people died on California’s roadways during the holiday and CHP made 917 arrests for driving under the influence.
“The holiday season brings celebrations and time spent with family and friends, but unfortunately they also result in a considerable loss of life on California’s roadways,” former CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley has previously said.
The CHP maximum enforcement continues through 11:59 p.m. Dec. 27.
“Although traffic may be lighter this holiday season, it is not an invitation to speed. The rules of the road still apply, and motorists should avoid driving tired, impaired, or distracted,” CHP officials said in a news release.
Correction: This story has been updated to indicate that Warren Stanley is the agency’s former commissioner.