Handful of DUI arrests made New Year’s Eve

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: A CHP officer in writes down information during a DUI traffic stop.

With both the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station promising to crack down on drunk drivers this New Year’s Eve, the actual event turned out to be “ordinary” with just the usual number of DUI’s arrests made.

“We had about five or six arrests for (driving under the influence),” Detective Michelle Obrien of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said early New Year’s Day.

“It was nothing out of the ordinary,” she said, referring to the number of arrests.  The CHP was expected to release its DUI arrest numbers Wednesday.

Heading into the holiday season, law enforcement agencies made it clear they would be out in force New Year’s Eve.

“To help spread the message about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, the LASD is partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get impaired drivers off roads,” LASD officials said in a news release issued this past weekend.

During the “high-visibility” enforcement campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 1, the LASD was expected to have more deputies on the road looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“Whether you are home with family or at the bar, it is important that you find a sober ride home after drinking,” Sgt. Robert Hill was quoted was saying in the news release.

“As an adult, it is up to you to make adult decisions and drive sober or use a ride share service. There are no excuses for driving impaired,” he said.

The LASD had a new reminder for motorists this New Year’s Eve, noting: “DUI doesn’t just mean booze. Marijuana, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.”

During the 2017 year-end holiday, 25 people were killed and 643 injured on California roads, according to data from the CHP Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.

The CHP had some scary statistics of its own in making the point not to drink and drive.

According to the CHP, 16 people died in collisions in CHP jurisdiction during the 2017 Christmas enforcement period. Of the 12 vehicle occupants who were killed, half were not wearing a seatbelt.

Three pedestrians and one motorcyclist were also killed, and the CHP made 917 arrests for DUI of alcohol or drugs. Statewide, 27 people were killed in collisions.

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