For most of us, Labor Day is a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved three-day weekend; for others it can be hectic and high-stress. Perhaps no more so than for the police. Labor Day isn’t just synonymous with relaxation, it’s also a weekend where people tend to drink … a lot. Unfortunately, many of those people also choose to drink and drive, causing alcohol-related collisions to spike around this time of year.
In an effort to keep people safe this Labor Day weekend, the CHP will be increasing safety patrols on many of California’s highways, including those that run through the Santa Clarita Valley. This Labor Day weekend is going to be a maximum enforcement period for the CHP, which means all of their available officers are going to be on duty between 6:01 pm Friday until 11:59 pm Monday night. During this period, officers will be stopping anyone exhibiting signs of impaired driving and getting them off the roads. Additionally, they’ll be giving assistance to unimpaired motorists in need.
Officers will be operating under a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. When stopped, tests will be performed to determine if the individual is under the influence and, if so, will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If charged and convicted, the penalties for a California DUI include misdemeanor probation, several thousand dollars in fines, DUI school, the suspension of one’s drivers license and sometimes an ignition interlock device. These penalties are expensive and completing the required objectives to regain your driver’s license isn’t easy. They are, however, relatively light compared to the consequences of injuring or killing someone while driving under the influence. When someone is injured or killed, the crime is much more serious and can even result in a murder charge – the penalty for which is many years in California state prison.