While CHP officers gear up to crack down on drunken New Year’s Eve drivers, the figures for the Christmas holiday weekend showed an uptick of motorists being arrested for DUI in the Sacramento Valley Division.
Seventy-seven people were arrested by the California Highway Patrol for driving under the influence during the Christmas maximum enforcement period, which began Dec. 23 and ended the night after Christmas.
The year before, during the 2015 Christmas maximum enforcement period, 71 drivers were arrested for DUI. The Valley Division encompasses a wide swath from Chico to Amador County, including the Sacramento region.
The New Year’s enforcement period starts at 6 p.m. Friday and lasts until 11:59 p.m. Monday. All personnel that are available will be on the road for the CHP.
“We don’t discourage people from going out and having fun,” said CHP Officer Rafael Cervantez. “But if you are going to have fun, do it responsibly.”
He noted that in addition to taxis or designating a sober driver, the advent of Uber and Lyft rideshare companies provides revelers with more ways to get home without getting behind the wheel drunk.
If you do drink and drive, trained officers will be looking for telltale signs of inebriated motoring:
“DUI driving is not one particular thing,” Cervantez said. “It can be fluctuation of speed, slowing and speeding up. It can be weaving in a serpentine manner within a lane. It can be a variety of things.”
Cervantez once stopped a car for a burned-out taillight. When he approached the driver , he discovered that the motorist appeared to be under the influence.