The California Highway Patrol is launching a new campaign to reduce the number of motorists killed or injured as a result of those driving under the influence on Highways 101 and 154.
Officials say the effort will be a 10-month enforcement period and aims to prevent collisions related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether prescription, over the counter or illegal. The campaign will span the entire length of Highway 154 and on Highway 101 between the interchange at La Cumbre Road and El Capitán State Beach on the Gaviota coast.
Between 2007 and 2009, 12 people were killed and 84 seriously injured in alcohol-involved collisions on the combined segments of the highways, according to the CHP.
The heightened enforcement began Dec. 1 and officials say it will continue through Sept. 30.
“During that time, CHP officers will enforce all traffic laws with a special emphasis on the apprehension of drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs — including drivers speeding, making unsafe passes or improper turns,” according to a CHP statement.
Officers will also strictly enforce the use of seat belts, child safety seats and drivers caught texting while driving.
“Our goal is to save lives by ensuring California’s roadways are safe for all motorists,” said CHP Capt. Jeff Sgobba. “Removing impaired drivers from the road is the ultimate goal of this project.”
CHP officers from the Santa Barbara and Buellton areas are implementing a DUI task force, according to the agency. The CHP also will be collaborating with regional law-enforcement agencies to provide enhanced anti-DUI enforcement roving patrols within their jurisdictions on Highways 101 and 154 in the county.
“Hopefully, with this anti-DUI campaign, we can raise awareness and prevent collisions or additional injuries and loss of life resulting from impaired driving,” Sgobba said.