California Highway Patrol officers will ramp up anti-DUI operations Wednesday for the start of a four-day crackdown on drunken and drug-impaired motorists.
The agency will initiate its annual Thanksgiving "maximum enforcement period" beginning at 6 p.m., when all available officers will be deployed to catch inebriated drivers, speeders and other traffic violators.
The MEP will conclude on Sunday night.
"Holiday travel can be stressful. By putting some simple safety measures in place, motorists can help keep themselves and others safe on the road this weekend," CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said.
"Most important, before you head out, ensure everyone inside the vehicle has their seatbelt on, and if there are children along for the ride, check that they are secure in the back seat in the appropriate child safety seat."
During last year's Thanksgiving maximum enforcement campaign, the CHP arrested 931 people statewide on suspicion of driving under the influence, compared to 1,057 arrests during the previous Thanksgiving holiday period -- a 12 percent decline.
A total of 59 people died in collisions on roads and highways under the CHP's jurisdiction over Thanksgiving weekend 2018.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half of the vehicle passengers killed in collisions nationwide during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday period weren't wearing seatbelts.
The CHP's MEP will coincide with the seventh annual "Interstate 40 Challenge: Care Across America," a national campaign that seeks to have a law enforcement officer actively patrolling 20-mile stretches of I-40, from California to North Carolina.