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Memorial Day | CHP's Maximum Enforcement Period ends at midnight

Forty-five people were killed in crashes in California during last year's Memorial Day weekend, which was nearly a 30% increase from the same period in 2021.

SAN DIEGO — Law enforcement agencies will intensify their traffic enforcement in the San Diego area over the Memorial Day weekend, with extra personnel on the prowl for motorists driving while intoxicated or otherwise making the roadways unsafe.

The California Highway Patrol's annual "maximum enforcement period" for the unofficial start-of-summer holiday started Friday evening and will continue through 11:59 p.m. Monday, the state agency advised this week.

Over the same period, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will conduct extra traffic patrols as well, the regional agency announced Friday.

"This holiday, motorists can expect to see additional CHP officers patrolling California's roadways," Highway Patrol Commissioner Sean Duryee said. "Our primary focus will be to enhance public safety, deter unsafe driving behavior and, when necessary, take appropriate enforcement action."

In addition to their efforts to get DUI offenders off the road, CHP personnel will be keeping an extra-sharp watch for traffic violations that often lead to serious injury or death, such as failure to wear a seat belt, speeding and distracted driving.

"Keep yourself and others who are on the road safe by designating a sober driver or using a ride-share service," Duryee said. "If you see or suspect an impaired driver, call 911 immediately. Your phone call may save someone's life."

The Sheriff's Department, for its part, issued a simple warning: "If you are caught driving impaired, you will go to jail."

"Driving under the influence doesn't just mean alcohol," the agency pointed out in a public statement. "It also means driving under the influence of prescription drugs or marijuana."

CHP officers made nearly 900 DUI arrests statewide over last year's Memorial Day weekend. During the three-day period, 45 people were killed in traffic crashes statewide -- a nearly 30% increase from the comparable time span in 2021, the CHP reported.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego International Airport sees a travel rush ahead of a busy Memorial Day weekend (May 2023).

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