CHP Patrols Streets for New Year’s Eve Dangers

SACRAMENTO -- FOX40 got an up-close look at how officers are patrolling the roads to keep us safe every day but especially on busy a holiday like New Year's Eve.

Lights were flashing and sirens were blaring as officials headed to the scene of a suspected DUI injury crash. After failing several field sobriety tests, including blowing nearly twice the legal limit on a breathalyzer, a Rio Linda man would be ringing in the new year from jail.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after the CHP said he caused a four-car wreck that sent two people to the hospital.

"I've seen so many collisions and just calamity that DUI causes," said CHP Sgt. Jeff Carlisle. "I've been on 16 or 17 years with this job and I’ve seen a lot of ugly stuff and probably, I'd say definitely, the majority of those incidents were caused by something to do with alcohol or drugs."

Carlisle said officers were out in full force for New Year's Eve looking for impaired drivers.

"My job might include arresting a very dangerous DUI driver that has multiple prior convictions or it could just be helping somebody who has a flat tire on the side of the road and making sure that they're safe and getting to where they're going, and everything in between," he told FOX40 on his New Year's Eve shift.

Last year the CHP made more than 900 arrests for drunken drivers during a four-day period surrounding New Year’s Day.

By 8 p.m., hours before many of the night’s celebrations even began, two people had been arrested on suspicion of DUI before the overnight CHP crews even began their shift.

Beginning Tuesday, a new DUI law goes into effect that will require an ignition interlock device for repeat offenders or those who caused injury during their first offense.

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