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Beefed up Labor Day traffic enforcement begins Aug. 16
Expect statewide DUI checkpoints and increased law enforcement presence on the roads now through the long Labor Day weekend as part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, reported the California Office of Traffic Safety. “As people get together to celebrate the holiday weekend, it is important that they remain responsible behind the wheel,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Office of Traffic Safety director. “Driving under the influence is extremely dangerous. California is increasing enforcement during the holiday to ensure that those who choose to drive while impaired will be caught and arrested.” His office, along with that of the CHP, remind holiday revelers to designate a sober driver to help keep everyone on the road safe. In 2011, 774 California drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes, his agency reported. On average, two people die each and every day statewide after a collision cause by an impaired driver. Many more people are injured in those collisions. Holiday road warriors can expect the CHP, Avoid DUI Task Forces and more than 115 local police departments statewide hosting DUI checkpoints and "saturation patrols" aimed at detering potential impaired drivers, as well as catching DUI drivers. What's more, specially trained officers will help weed out drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or legal or illegal drugs. Expect a first-time DUI conviction to cost up to $10,000 in fines, legal fees and insurance increases, not to mention the loss of driving privilege for a year. “Our education and enforcement efforts play a key role in keeping the motoring public safe,” said Joe Farrow, CHP commissioner. “With the public’s cooperation and commitment to abstain from drinking and driving, lives will be saved. Those who make the poor choice to drive impaired should be prepared to face the consequences.” For information, visit www.ots.ca.gov or follow the agency on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS or on Twitter @OTS_CA.