In response to the expected increase in potential highway traffic collisions over Memorial Day Weekend, the California Highway Patrol will be out in extra force throughout the state to enforce laws pertaining to seat belts, distracted driving, and driving while impaired by the effects of drugs and alcohol. Memorial Day Weekend is designated as a Maximum Enforcement Period by the California Highway Patrol due to the typically higher fatality rates associated with the three day holiday weekend. Last year in California, more people died in traffic related fatalities than on average for the same time period in previous years. Two dozen people died in car accidents throughout the state during Memorial Day of 2011, a 41 percent increase from the Memorial Day traffic fatalities that occurred in California in 2010. Six out of ten of the people killed in traffic accidents during Memorial Day Weekend of 2011. Last weekend, California Highway Patrol officers arrested 20 motorists suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Throughout Memorial Day Weekend of 2011, California Highway Patrol officers arrested 1,367 drivers for operating their motor vehicles while their abilities were impaired by alcohol or drugs. The California Highway Patrol will also be involved in an increased enforcement campaign focusing on the state’s seat belt laws in response to May’s “Click It or Ticket” month long safety awareness campaign. This public service initiative will continue through June 3.