CHP out in force for Memorial Day weekend

Expect a lot more California Highway Patrol officers on the roads beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, when the agency kicks off its “Maximum Enforcement Period” for the Memorial Day weekend.

The CHP’s regular beat officers will be joined by extra patrols looking for drunk and distracted drivers. In the end, CHP Officer Steven Fricke said, both cause the same harm.

“If you think about it, distracted driving looks just like DUI,” he said.

Fricke said the maximum enforcement period could also include DUI checkpoints during the weekend.

The statewide extra enforcement is held every Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year and the traditional kickoff of summer.

According to CHP records, 39 people died statewide in vehicle accidents during last year’s Memorial Day weekend enforcement period. Two-thirds of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

CHP officers made 1,065 DUI arrests during the same period.

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