The final holiday weekend of summer is on the horizon. As Californians prepare for a three-day reprieve filled with road trips, barbecues and celebrations, the California Highway Patrol is gearing up for its Labor Day Maximum Enforcement Period.
Officers will be on duty during the MEP, which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5.
“Celebrate the Labor Day weekend but remember to celebrate safely,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Since California enjoys such fantastic weather this time of year, our roadways may be congested with traffic and pedestrians. Many families will be out and about in our great state to enjoy the last days of summer.”
Last year over Labor Day weekend, 21 people were killed in collisions on California roadways. In addition, more than half of all vehicle occupants killed in CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
During the Labor Day weekend 2010, CHP officers throughout the state made 1,521 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI); which was up 7 percent from the previous year.
“End summer on a high note and drive safely, soberly and defensively,” Farrow said. “There is no excuse to for driving while intoxicated. Designate a non-drinking driver before you head out, and always ensure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.”
Motorists are reminded to call 911 if they see a suspected drunk driver. To assist law enforcement, callers should be prepared to provide the dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.