Police, CHP to step up enforcement on New Year's Eve
Law enforcement targeting drunk drivers, illegal use of guns
Local law enforcement agencies will be out in full force this New Year’s Eve, looking for drunken drivers and other lawbreakers.
The Porterville Police Department will have additional patrol officers and detectives in marked and unmarked patrol cars on the lookout for drunken drivers and weapons violations.
The PPD’s Lt. Jake Castellow said special investigation detectives and a special enforcement team will be looking for people shooting their guns in the air, potential gang activity and graffiti.
Castellow said he does not know of any instances where a projectile bullet has struck anyone, but said there have been times when bullets have fallen onto parked vehicles.
“If something is going up in the air, it’s going to come down somewhere,” Castellow said.
Anyone caught carelessly shooting a gun will be booked at the Tulare County Jail on suspicion of reckless discharge of a firearm.
“Everybody needs to focus on being safe and responsible and not drive under the influence if they’ve consumed alcoholic beverages,” Castellow said. “Be mindful of reckless discharge of firearms and make it a safe holiday for everybody.”
The Porterville-area California Highway Patrol will be participating in a statewide maximum enforcement period over the New Year’s Day holiday.
This entails increased patrol on Highway 65 and Highway 190 and throughout the county-portions of the area.
Officers will focus their efforts on drunken drivers.
“Officers will be looking for weaving, varying speeds, whether they are able to maintain lanes, and driving without their headlights on,” CHP Officer Ron Yagle said.
The reporting period began Friday and runs through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.
“Safety is the California Highway Patrol’s priority year round,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a news release issued Wednesday. “Hopefully with the presence of additional officers on the roadway during the holiday season, everyone will arrive safely at their destination.”
According to the CHP, over last New Year’s holiday, 25 people were killed in collisions throughout the state; the majority of those who died within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a set belt at the time of the crash. Additionally, CHP officers made more than 1,200 arrests for drunken driving.
“This new year, resolve to make a difference and save lives,” Farrow added. “By removing impaired drivers from our roadways, this tragic loss of life can be greatly reduced.”
The public is also encouraged to report drivers who they suspect may be under the influence. When calling 911, be prepared to provide a description of the vehicle, including a license plat number, the location, and its direction of travel.
“Enjoy the holiday, be responsible and have a sober driver present or access to a cab, if not, give someone a phone call,” Yagle said.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.