Like police in all 50 states, the California Highway Patrol was out in force during the Thanksgiving holiday, watching for drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, drowsy drivers and anyone simply driving in an unsafe manner. in San Diego alone the CHP arrested more than 60 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Statewide, almost 900 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol between Wednesday and Saturday. The good news is that was an improvement in the number of arrests from last year-down nearly 10 percent. Unfortunately, despite the increased patrols and vigilant police, 17 people lost their lives on California roadways during the holiday. That’s three more than suffered fatal injuries in auto crashes last year.

Every year, always around the holidays, police turn out in force to keep people safe–usually from their own bad driving decisions. The incidence of alcohol related driving offenses goes up, the number of collisions goes up and the number of citations increases. This is not because police are bored and looking for something to do during their holidays. It is because during the holidays more drivers hit the road. Mix this statistic with the fact that people like to cut loose during the holidays and have a good time with friends and family and you get the perfect storm for auto collisions.

In California millions of drivers hit the road every day. During the holidays this number greatly increases as many people hit the road to see family and friends and have that “good time” we just told you about. As the numbers of drivers increase the dangers also increase. This doesn’t mean you should stay home and avoid travel during the holidays, just that you should be aware of the dangers you face if you do get behind the wheel.

And no matter how far you need to drive (or how close your destination might be) it is NEVER a good idea to get behind the wheel of a 3-ton missile made of steel, plastic and glass after you have consumed alcohol. Not only is it illegal, it’s just plain stupid.