Those celebrating with a little bubbly – or a lot of bubbly – should designate a driver this New Year's Eve.
The California Highway Patrol will conduct a Maximum Enforcement Period this New Year's, putting every available officer on the road in search of drunk drivers and other lawbreakers.
The Maximum Enforcement Period begins at 6 p.m. New Year's Eve, ending at 12 midnight on New Year's Day.
“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,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
More than 40 Californians were killed in automobile collisions last New Year's Eve, half of those not wearing a seat belt. A further 1,400 Californians were arrested by CHP officers for driving under the influence.
The CHP is also partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
Members of the public are asked to call 9-1-1 to report other drivers they suspect of being under the influence. Callers should be prepared to provide the location, make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle.
If a sober driver cannot be found, Turlockers are advised to call a taxi cab. Taxis can be found in Turlock by calling 209-200-3366, 209-632-2012, or 209-669-3911l.
AAA also offers a free “Tipsy Tow” program, offering 10 miles of free towing for any drinking driver and his or her vehicle. Additional passengers may also get a ride to the driver's home, if space in the tow truck allows. The service will be available from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday by calling 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP).
“Our hope is that drivers will make responsible decisions ahead of time,” Farrow said. “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.”