LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - This holiday season, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is conducting several DUI operations to look for impaired drivers on the roads.
From Dec. 14 through New Year’s Day, LASD will have additional officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The extra enforcement effort is part of a national campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Sergeant Michael Lennig with the LA County Sheriff's Department said with family gatherings and holiday parties, the time period between December 14 and New Year's Day has an uptick in impaired drivers.
"It's a high time of year when there are a lot of drivers driving impaired and ending up in collisions so the Sheriff's Department and a lot of other agencies put out supplemental patrols in an effort to deter that activity and make people think twice about it," said Lennig.
Lennig said there are signs indicating someone is driving impaired.
"Impaired drivers will do certain things like lane straddling is a common one. They'll stop at a signal may be far from the limit lines, and another one is lighting. They'll forget to turn their headlights on," said Lennig.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 11,654 people were killed in car crashes nationwide in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver, or one person every 45 minutes.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department encourages everyone to stay in for the night or have a plan by scheduling a ride or designating a sober driver.
"The holidays are a special time of year for many, and we want drivers to act responsibly," Sgt. Lennig said. "This enforcement period allows us to get the message out that driving impaired is an illegal, senseless behavior that takes lives."
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.