The holiday weekend was a little safer in the Southland, thanks to more attentive drivers and the vigilance of law enforcement officials.
The California Highway Patrol implemented a Maximum Enforcement Period from Friday at 6 p.m. until Monday at 6 p.m., putting every available patrol car on the highways and freeways in the state, including the northern Los Angeles County area.
During that period, there were 228 driving under the influence arrests in the entire Southern Division, compared to 307 in the same period in 2008. Of those crashes, only three were fatal and no fatalities occurred in the Newhall area.
In the Newhall area specifically, there were 23 accidents this year, compared to 19 in 2008, a slight increase. However, in 2008, there were three driving under the influence crashes and only one this year, as well as four DUI arrests.
Statewide, in 2009, there were 1,417 DUI arrests during this period, compared to 1,586 last year, an encouraging reduction. Even better, of the fatal collisions that happened in CHP territory this year, there were only 11, compared to 31 the year before, according to CHP Officer John Lutz.