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CHP urges a safe and sober 4th of July

Posted: June 29, 2010 1:03 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2010 2:23 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - As tens of thousands of Californians prepare to mark Independence Day, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds everyone to keep safety a top priority. The holiday falls on a Sunday this year. For many people it will be a three-day weekend full of celebration and good times.

Fourth of July weekend is a "maximum enforcement period" for the CHP. All available officers will be out on the road during the weekend looking for motorists who are a danger to themselves or others on our state's highways. The MEP begins at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, July 2, and continues through midnight on Monday, July 5.

Last year 24 persons were killed statewide during the Fourth of July weekend, and 80 percent of the vehicle occupants killed in CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. In addition, CHP officers made 1,239 arrests for driving under the influence during that same time period.

"The CHP wants your holiday memories to be happy," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "Please be sure to take a few simple precautions to ensure that your friends and family have a safe Fourth of July."

* Don't drink and drive. If your Independence Day celebration includes drinking alcohol, arrange for a friend or family member who will not be drinking to be the "Designated Driver."

* Always wear your seat belt. Even on short trips make sure all passengers, adults and children, are buckled up.

* Watch your speed. Stay at or below the limit, depending upon road conditions.

* Plan ahead if you will drive long distances. Add extra time to your trip so you won't feel rushed. This enables you to take a break every hour or so to get refreshed.


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