Drive safe for the New Year: a message from the CHP

More officers will be on the road.

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MENDOCINO CO., 12/31/17 — It’s a holiday weekend, and whether you’re taking it easy or going out on the town, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants you to drive safely on the roads. To that end the CHP has declared a “maximum enforcement period” this weekend, which began on Friday, and will last until 11:59pm on Monday, January 1.

Here’s the full press release:

2017 New Years MEP Press Release

‘TIS THE SEASON – DRIVE SOBER

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The New Year is almost here and as the festivities continue, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants to remind motorists to celebrate safely and responsibly by designating a sober driver.

The CHP will observe the New Year with a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) from 6:01 p.m. on Friday, December 29, 2017, to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 1, 2018. All available personnel will be on duty. Not only will officers focus on keeping the motoring public safe by removing impaired drivers from the road, they will also be watching for distracted driving, speeding, and seat belt violations, as well as motorists in need of assistance.

During last year’s New Year’s Day MEP, 29 people died in collisions on California roadways. In addition, CHP officers made more than 750 arrests for driving under the influence during the 78-hour holiday enforcement effort.

“Impaired driving is a very serious crime that puts your life and the lives of others at risk,” CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Let’s end this year safely and start the New Year by designating a sober driver, wearing your seat belt, and observing all traffic laws.”

With the New Year comes a change in law for California. In 2016, voters passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, more commonly referred to as Proposition 64, which legalized adult recreational use of cannabis. “The legalization of cannabis does not change the effect it has on the central nervous system. Driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs remains illegal,” added Acting Commissioner Stanley.

The CHP urges everyone to plan a safe ride home before the parties begin. Calling a taxi or a sober friend or family member, using public transportation or the increasingly popular ridesharing services can be the difference between life or death.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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1 COMMENT

  1. No one should drive impaired, but actual impairment should be measured, and the level of impairment from cannabis that is criminalized should be the same as the level of impairment for the .08 blood alcohol level. How to measure impairment? Read on!

    I have developed a new public health app that measures actual impairment–it is called DRUID (an acronym for “DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs”) available now in the App Store and in Google Play. DRUID measures reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, time estimation and balance, and then statistically integrates hundreds of data points into an overall impairment score. DRUID takes just 2 minutes.

    Our website is http://www.druidapp.com

    DRUID allows cannabis users (or others who drink alcohol, use prescription drugs, etc.) to self-assess their own level of impairment and (hopefully) decide against driving if they are impaired. Prior to DRUID, there was no way for an individual to accurately assess their own level of impairment. DRUID also demonstrates that it is feasible to measure impairment reliably by the roadside, not just exposure to a drug. It could also be a way for cannabis users who have developed tolerance to show they are unimpaired.

    DRUID was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

    Also on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

    And this past December on Spokane Public Radio: http://nwpr.org/post/progress-made-marijuana-intoxication-measurement-tool-0

    NORML of California is promoting DRUID with a link to DRUID on their website, encouraging cannabis users to use it.

    After obtaining my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor of psychology at UMass/Boston for the past 40 years, specializing in research methods, measurement and statistics.

    Michael Milburn, Professor
    Department of Psychology
    UMass/Boston

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