California law enforcement is kicking off the holiday DUI enforcement period this weekend with a stern message to all motorists: “drive sober or get pulled over.”
From Friday, Dec. 13, through New Year’s Day, additional officers will be on the lookout for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs across the state, according to multiple police agencies.
The Cypress, Fontana and Lodi police departments also said they will conduct DUI/driver’s license checkpoints at undisclosed locations during the holiday season.
“Unfortunately, this time of year is when we see more people driving impaired,” Fontana Police Department Sgt. Kurt Schlotterbeck said in a news release. “There is no excuse for driving after drinking or using drugs that impair. There are many ways to get home safely without driving.”
Last year, in just the four-day period that ended the night of Christmas, the California Highway Patrol arrested 1,059 suspected DUI drivers. That was up from the same period in 2017, when there were 917 DUI arrests.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as marijuana, can also lead to impaired driving.
“Impairment of any kind while driving is illegal. Alcohol, cannabis, or legal or illegal drugs can all affect your driving,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said in a statement last December. “Impaired driving is a serious crime that can lead to an arrest, serious injury, or death.”
Those attending a holiday party or gathering where alcoholic drinks may be served are encouraged to use a designated driver, officials said. And anyone hosting an event this season is urged to serve non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers and monitor how partygoers are getting home.
The California Office of Traffic Safety provided a grant to fund the holiday DUI enforcement campaign.