Motorists who get arrested for driving under the influence this holiday weekend will have only themselves to blame, because the California Highway Patrol is telling everyone in advance that troopers will crack down on impaired drivers from 6 p.m. Thursday, which is New Year’s Eve, to midnight Sunday.

The CHP in Sonora and statewide are calling their crackdown on impaired drivers and unsafe motorists a maximum enforcement period.

“Although this year, the safest New Year’s Eve is one spent at home, the CHP’s mission of providing the highest level of safety, service, and security on the state’s roadways remains unchanged,” Fran Clader, CHP director of communications, said in an announcement this week.

Local and state public health authorities are still telling Mother Lode residents and everyone else in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region they are on a stay home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 0 percent intensive care unit availability.

People are being advised to stay home as much as possible, avoid gatherings, and not travel significant distances to slow the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Heading into the new year, the mission of the CHP is unchanged,” Amanda Ray, the CHP commissioner, said this week. “Together, with the public’s commitment to safe and sober driving, our officers will continue to work to make California’s roadways safe for all who use them.”

The CHP is partnering with state patrols in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. They form the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition and together they are promoting their “Drive High, get a DUI” campaign.

The California Highway Patrol plans to deploy 579 drug recognition evaluators this New Year’s holiday weekend to help identify and remove impaired drivers from the road.

Contact Guy McCarthy at or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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