Dozens arrested for DUI over Thanksgiving holiday

SAN DIEGO — The California Highway Patrol arrested 27 in San Diego County for drunken driving during the first two nights of its annual Thanksgiving “maximum enforcement period.”

CHP officers made the arrests between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Friday in the agency’s jurisdiction area, which includes all freeways plus roads in unincorporated areas.

All available officers were to be deployed to catch drunken or drug-impaired drivers, speeders and other traffic violators during the holiday enforcement period.

CHP officers arrested 902 people statewide on suspicion drunken driving under during last year’s Thanksgiving maximum enforcement campaign.

A total of 31 people died in collisions on roads and highways under the CHP’s jurisdiction during the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend.

The CHP urged drivers and their passengers to wear seatbelts, as the law mandates.

“Whether you are driving across the street or across the country for your Thanksgiving gathering, it is imperative to wear your seatbelt,” CHP acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Wearing a seatbelt is essential every day of the year, but we do not want to have festivities ruined as a result of people not buckling up for their trip.”

The maximum enforcement period will coincide with the fifth annual nationwide “Interstate 40 Challenge: The Drive Toward Zero Fatalities,” a campaign from Barstow to North Carolina. The idea was to have a law enforcement officer actively patrolling every 20-mile stretches of Interstate 40 all weekend.

There were no fatalities in the California portion of Interstate 40 during last year’s challenge, according to the CHP.

The maximum enforcement period will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.