Authorities recently reminded residents to stay safe while celebrating the holidays and partaking in festivities.
The Newport Beach Police Department is partnering with state and national authorities for a special year-end “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign.
Now through Jan. 1, NBPD, along with the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will focus on education and enforcement, spreading the word about the dangers of impaired driving and making arrests for DUIs though DUI checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols. Newport police will conduct a DUI checkpoint on Dec. 22.
“We are watching closely for anyone who might be impaired behind the wheel,” said NBPD Sergeant Mike Schiavi. “With extra travelers on the road, and people attending holiday festivities, we know it is likely that we will see an uptick in drunk driving… so we’ll increase our efforts to counteract that. Our goal is to get everyone home safely this holiday season.”
They are committed to keeping the roads safe during the holidays and every day, he added.
Police have also noticed an increase in drug-impaired driving collisions in California in recent years, according to the NBPD message.
Authorities are also working on a new effort to educate drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,” including prescription medication.
“This holiday season, and every day, drivers need to remember that it is never ok to drive while impaired by alcohol, marijuana, medication, or illicit drugs,” NBPD officials wrote in a statement released on Dec. 13.
“Driving under the influence can have devastating — and deadly — consequences,” the message reads.
Across the country last year, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic collisions, and 28 percent of them died in crashes where a driver has a blood alcohol concentration over the limit of .08, according to authorities. More than 1,000 of those DUI crashes were in California.
Authorities used the message to remind residents to plan ahead, designate a sober driver, or plan to use ride-sharing or public transportation to get home safely.
They also urged people to use the California OTS Designated Driver VIP free mobile app.