CHP searching for New Year’s Eve drunk drivers

California Highway Patrol officials say they will have more patrols on the state’s highways and roads during the New Year’s holiday enforcement period, from 6 p.m. today until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

“In an effort to promote safety on California’s roadways, we will have every available officer on patrol throughout the holiday travel period,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a news release.

“With all the excitement and celebration the holidays can be a particularly deadly time due to an increased number of impaired drivers on the roads.”

According to the CHP, 41 people were killed in collisions statewide during the last New Year’s enforcement period, which was 4 1/2 days long. Half of the vehicle occupants who died in the CHP’s jurisdiction were not wearing seat belts. Officers made more than 1,400 DUI arrests throughout last year’s enforcement period, the CHP said.

The CHP is asking the public to call 911 if they suspect another driver is under the influence. Callers should be prepared to provide dispatchers with the location, make, model, and license plate of the vehicle along with any other pertinent information.

“Our hope is that drivers will make responsible decisions ahead of time,” Farrow said in the release. “There are plenty of transportation alternatives to getting behind the wheel. Designate a sober driver, take a taxi or use public transportation. We want everyone to start the new year off right and safely.”