SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an effort to stem the rise in impaired driving crashes traditionally seen around the holiday period, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) announced the start of the December DUI Crackdown today, which will continue through Jan. 1. The crackdown kickoff coincided with the launch of the agency's designated driver mobile app, DDVIP.
"This is a time which should be for families and celebrations, not for tragedies on our roadways," said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. "It is easy to avoid a DUI arrest or crash – don't drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, or be one yourself."
During the crackdown period, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and over 200 participating law enforcement agencies throughout California will be conducting increased sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. These measures are not only meant to keep impaired drivers off the roads, but also to raise public awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired by either alcohol or drugs. All efforts reinforce the Report Drunk Drivers—Call 911 and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over messages, which aim to keep impaired drivers off the road.
During the 2012 Christmas and New Year's holiday weekends alone, 70 lost their lives due to alcohol-related crashes in California. During that entire year, alcohol was responsible for 1,169 deaths and nearly 24,000 injuries in the state.
"It is important not to get so swept up in the holiday cheer that you forget the dangers of impaired driving," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Please make smart decisions this holiday season and designate a sober driver to ensure you safely arrive at your destination."
To reinforce these efforts and reward those who volunteer to be designated sober drivers, the OTS has created the DDVIP mobile app, which allows designated drivers to locate bars and restaurants near them that offer rewards for designated drivers. Originally created last year as a mobile site, the app is now available for free download in the Apple Store with enhanced functionality, including giving users the ability to receive updates of new DDVIP partners, based on their location.
For more information about the DUI Crackdown, DDVIP and other OTS efforts, visit www.ots.ca.gov or www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS.
CONTACT: Chris Cochran (916) 509-3063 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:DEC California Office of Traffic Safety