SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As folks head over the river and through the woods to grandma's and finish up that last minute shopping, a Christmas Maximum Enforcement Period kicked off Friday at 6:00 p.m. and law enforcement will be out in full force making sure everyone has a safe holiday season.
’Tis the season for festive celebrations with family and friends but for the California Highway Patrol it’s all hands on deck.
"Last year during this time period, the same time period, we had 16 people that died on California roadways and we made over DUI arrests," said Officer Jonathan Gutierrez, California Highway Patrol.
Those grim statistics reinforce why CHP will be honing in on speed enforcement and impaired drivers during their Maximum Enforcement Period.
“The biggest law that is usually broken during the holiday season is speeding and people drinking and driving," said Officer Gutierrez.
Like the holiday parties and presents, those tickets are going to cost you.
"If somebody gets caught drinking and driving, their fines are going to be anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 dollars instead of paying the price of an Uber or a Lyft or a Taxi," said Officer Gutierrez.
While a speeding infraction could you set you back anywhere from around $200 to $900 dollars, a recent survey shows that the cost of holiday burglaries cost Californians nearly $2.4 Million dollars.
"We do see an uptick in theft, whether it be car thefts or thefts stemming from something left inside your vehicle," said Anthony Wagner, Santa Barbara Police Department.
Like CHP, Santa Barbara Police are on high alert, making safety a priority this holiday season.
"It’s important that when you do go out shopping for the holiday you don’t leave stuff readily apparent on the sleep that’s valuable otherwise it’s very tempting and attractive for a thief. It’s a crime of opportunity," said Wagner.
CHP's enforcement period runs until 11:59 p.m. Christmas Day.