[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Over the Independence Day holiday weekend, California Highway Patrol (CHP) arrested 997 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI).  CHP conducted a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) for the holiday weekend beginning Friday, July 2 at 6:01 pm until Monday, July 5 at 11:59 pm, similar to what it did for Memorial Day weekend MEP.  The number of drivers arrested was slightly higher than Memorial Day, which saw 979 DUI arrests by CHP. CHP also reported on the number of fatalities it saw in crashes over the weekend: 43, which was also higher than Memorial Day weekend.  CHP did not identify how many fatal car accident victims were the result of suspected drunk driving but did indicate that many of the victims were not wearing a seat belt. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol carries stiff penalties.  The penalties become harsher if the driver has been previously convicted of DUI, if a vehicle crash resulting in property damage occurs, or if someone is injured or killed as the result of DUI.  Penalties can include significant jail time, fines and court fees, suspended driving privileges, probation, and community service requirements. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth wants to remind everyone that drinking and driving is against the law.  It is always best to designate a sober driver or find alternative transportation, such as ride shares, taxis, or public transit.  Regardless of CHP special operations, it is never okay to drink and drive.  Please stay safe on the roads every time you drive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]