California authorities on Wednesday said that 50 people died in car crashes involving drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the extended New Year's weekend in the state-- a disturbing increase from 40 deaths reported the same time last year.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested 1,140 statewide for driving under the influence, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Last year, 936 people were arrested for impaired driving over a 78-hour period during New Year's, the report said, citing the CHP.
But this year's increase in arrests could be linked to a lengthened maximum enforcement period, when all available officers are on duty, since New Year's Day was on a Tuesday, officials said, according to the paper.
“It is not comparable to last year’s, because this one was one full day longer,” said Jaime Coffee, a CHP spokeswoman.