CHP steps up DUI patrols for Labor Day weekend


As the nation readies for Labor Day weekend, the California Highway Patrol reminds motorists to be safe on the roadways.

The final three-day weekend of the summer travel season is a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. 

During the holiday weekend, CHP officers around the state will be out in force.

“Every major holiday is a maximum enforcement period,” said Lt. Steve Halbleib of the Auburn area CHP office. “The major holidays such as Memorial and Labor Day are all potential times when we apply more resources to the field for DUI enforcement and distracted-driving enforcement. We put (all) available officers on the road.”

Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2.  The Labor Day MEP also coincides with the ongoing national anti-drunken-driving enforcement crackdown, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” 

If your Labor Day celebration involves alcohol, ensure that those plans also include a designated driver, officials warn.

“While many people will spend the long weekend celebrating with their friends and family, the law enforcement community will be on patrol working to keep the highways hazard-free,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “Our main goal through this high-visibility enforcement effort is to prevent tragedies from occurring.”

Last year during the Labor Day MEP, 49 people were killed in collisions on California roadways, which was a 40 percent increase from the same period in 2012. More than 70 percent of those killed in collisions within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt. 

“Help us make the holiday weekend safe for yourself and everyone by thinking about safety,” Farrow said.  “Buckle up, drive at a safe and legal speed, avoid distractions, and designate a driver.”

Last year, CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for driving under the influence.  If you see a suspected drunken driver, call 911, officials said. Be prepared to assist the dispatcher by giving a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel. 

“Before you call, be aware of your surroundings, especially streets, highways, directions, city or nearest town within which you are calling. That phone call may help save someone’s life,” Farrow said.

Said Halbleib: “We just want to make it safe on the roads.” 

By Penne Usher / Auburn Journal
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