On Friday, the California Highway Patrol is kicking off its efforts to keep our streets safe with two programs – a driving under the influence checkpoint in the Santa Clarita Valley area and a Maximum Enforcement Period that presents a show of force on the streets.
The checkpoint will be conducted from 8:30 p.m. Friday to approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Motorists will see informational signs advising them of a sobriety checkpoint ahead. Once diverted into the lane, motorists will be detained only a few moments while an officer explains the purpose of the checkpoint.
Checkpoints tend to reduce the number of drinking drivers on the road. Even though arrest totals do not rise dramatically, the psychological influence a checkpoint has on the motoring public is of major value.
The MEP will start at 6 p.m. Friday and continue through the weekend, ending Monday at 11:59 p.m. Every available officer will be out on the road during this time looking for motorists who are a danger to themselves or others on the state’s roadways.
During last year’s MEP, 45 people were killed in California’s roadways and CHP officers made 1,465 arrests for DUI.
Seat belt enforcement is also critical. According to statistics, nearly half of the vehicle occupants killed within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. To combat the problem of unrestrained passengers, the CHP will participating in the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign.
“Insist everyone is properly restrained with a seat belt or a child safety seat before starting your engine,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Those two seconds could save your life or the life of someone you love.
“Our officers have seen firsthand how effective using seat belts and child safety seats are in reducing injuries and saving lives of those involved in motor vehicle collisions,” he continued. “It’s simple. Buckle up. Watch your speed and never drink and drive.”
In an effort to keep impaired drivers off the road at all times, the CHP is encouraging motorists to be a part of the team: report drunk drivers, call 911. When calling, be sure to note the location and direction the suspected drunk driver is traveling. A color, make and model of car are also helpful.