Crime & Justice

Drive safe, Californians. We’re seeing a big spike in holiday DUI's

File: A motorist produces their driver's license at a DUI checkpoint in Bellflower on March 6, 2014. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department conducted the checkpoint on Alondra Boulevard.
File: A motorist produces their driver's license at a DUI checkpoint in Bellflower on March 6, 2014. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department conducted the checkpoint on Alondra Boulevard.
Stuart Palley/KPCC

It seems like there was plenty of spiked eggnog this year. 

Police stopped more drunk drivers this Christmas than last year. New numbers from the California Highway Patrol show drunk driving arrests spiked significantly over the holiday weekend. 

All the arrests were made during the agency's maximum enforcement period for the holiday, which lasted from 6 p.m. Dec. 22 to 11:59 p.m. Dec. 25. 

The California Highway Patrol says it made 917 DUI arrests statewide — that's up from the 621 arrests made last year. 

In L.A. County, the agency arrested 164 drunk drivers, compared to the 92 made in 2016.

California Highway Patrol Officer Stephanie Norton says the numbers are troubling. The agency can't explain what caused the surge in arrests. 

"[It's] not what we want to see obviously. In a perfect world there would be zero people arrested," Norton said.

Twenty-seven people died on the roads during the enforcement period, including an on-duty CHP officer. Officer Andrew Camilleri Sr. worked for a San Francisco-area division.

https://twitter.com/CHPCommissioner/status/945360470608822272

CHP officers will be out in full force again with another maximum enforcement period for New Year's.

“We encourage people to celebrate but we want them to do it safely," Norton said. 

She recommends having a designated driver or using ride share services during the holiday weekend.