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CHP asks for a DUI and Fatality Free Holiday Season

With holiday celebrations upon us, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is preparing for this heavily-traveled time of year by educating the motoring public about safety on our roadways.

In an effort to stem the rise in impaired driving crashes traditionally seen around the holiday period, the California Highway Patrol announced the start of the Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) beginning Wednesday, December 24, 2014, at 6 p.m. and continues through Sunday, December 28, 2014, at 11:59 p.m.

The MEP coincides with the Office of Traffic Safety’s launch of the designated Driver mobile app, DDVIP.

During this period, the CHP is reminding travelers to buckle up, adhere to the posted speed limit, avoid distractions behind the wheel, and always designate a sober driver.

“Our intent with the enhanced enforcement efforts during the holiday season is simply to save lives,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “We want everyone to have a happy holiday season this year and ensure nobody is forced to deal with the loss of a loved one.”

In December 2012 alone, 830 people died as a result of a collision caused by an impaired driver.During that entire year, alcohol was responsible for 1,169 deaths and nearly 24,000 injuries in the state.

“It is important not to get so swept up in the holiday cheer that you forget the dangers of impaired driving,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Please make smart decisions this holiday season and designate a sober driver to ensure you safely arrive at your destination.”

An anti-DUI effort is aimed at eliminating drunk-driving by educating Californians about the dangers of driving after consuming alcoholic beverages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 people are killed annually in America by drunk drivers.

“This is a time which should be for families and celebrations, not for tragedies on our roadways,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “It is easy to avoid a DUI arrest or crash – don’t drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, or be one yourself.”

During the crackdown period, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and over 200 participating law enforcement agencies throughout California will be conducting increased sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. These measures are not only meant to keep impaired drivers off the roads, but also to raise public awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired by either alcohol or drugs. All efforts reinforce the Report Drunk Drivers—Call 911 and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over messages, which aim to keep impaired drivers off the road.

To reinforce these efforts and reward those who volunteer to be designated sober drivers, the OTS has created the DDVIP mobile app, which allows designated drivers to locate bars and restaurants near them that offer rewards for designated drivers. Originally created last year as a mobile site, the app is now available for free download in the Apple Store with enhanced functionality, including giving users the ability to receive updates of new DDVIP partners, based on their location.

This year, the CHP hopes to eliminate the added danger of intoxicated drivers on our roadways.

“Have a safe, fun, and enjoyable holiday celebration this year,” added Commissioner Farrow. “Just do it responsibly by making the right and responsible decision before you get behind the wheel and always designate a sober driver.”

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