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Motorists are being asked to report suspected impaired drivers.

Although the “driving under the influence” (DUI) arrest rate has been coming down over the last ten years, alcohol involved traffic accident fatalities in California have been on the rise since 1999. In response, over 450 California law enforcement agencies, including the CHP, are preparing for a DUI crackdown in 35 counties to prevent impaired driving this holiday season. The statewide effort will include saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

There are things we all can do to make our roadways safer and help insure our friends and relatives arrive home safe after holiday get togethers. We all know the usual safety tips, drink responsibly, designate a sober driver and “friends don’t let friends drive drunk”. However, this year California law enforcement is asking for our help in yet another way.

“Drunk driving is the top priority for the California Highway Patrol and other motorists on the roads are one of the best weapons we have against drunk drivers,” said CHP Commissioner Mike Brown. “We’re asking the public to report drunk drivers by calling 911 and providing the location and a complete description of the vehicle. This will help us know who we’re looking for and where to look.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you can distinguish between drunk and sober drivers by looking for the following clues:

Appearing to be drunk
Turning with a wide radius
Straddling the center of the road or lane marker
Almost striking an object or another vehicle
Weaving and zigzagging across the road
Turning abruptly or illegally
Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
Following others too closely
Drifting or moving in a straight line at an angle and erratic braking
Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
Driving with headlights off

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