Valley law enforcement stepping up DUI patrols ahead of New Year's Eve

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol is gearing up for New Year's Eve.

Extra officers will be on patrol looking to crack down on drunk drivers. This weekend is expected to be a busy time on local roads and highways. Valley law enforcement agencies are planning to step up patrols to keep everyone safe this New Year's and crack down on drunk drivers.

The CHP will ring in the new year with beefed up patrols, and extra officers will be on the look out for drunk drivers over the busy holiday weekend.

"We're bringing in extra patrols to go out there and look for DUI drivers and really all over the Fresno County area," Axel Reyes with the CHP said.

The agency's maximum enforcement period starts Friday evening and carries over through Monday. The CHP encourages drivers to begin their new year with a safe celebration and a designated driver.

"If you know you're going to go out, prepare ahead of time, leave some extra cash for a taxi, get your apps ready for Uber or Lyft," Reyes explained. "The biggest thing we've always told is to have a friend on call, 'We're heading out, friend or family member, do you mind if I call you?' Can I call you if I need a ride later on?'"

Officers will focus on DUIs but will also crackdown on distracted drivers, speeding and seat belt violations.

"Really, we're just looking for anything and everything," Reyes said. "Of course, we're still looking for cell phones use. Overall, people make bad choices especially when they've been under the influence and those are the things we look for when people are driving."

During last year's New Year's holiday, the CHP says 27 people died in collisions on California roadways and more than 900 people were arrested on DUI charges.

"We do see an added number of DUI drivers," Reyes said. "Obviously, New Year's seems to be the most popular time of year for people to drink and, from our standpoint, we're not telling people not to drink, we are telling people don't drink and drive."
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