Drinking and driving anytime is a bad idea, but it could be the worst idea of your life if you try it Thursday night as part of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
And as bad as a DUI may be, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest times of the year on local roads.
While Irish pubs across the Southland will see lines stretching out their doors, multiple Southland law enforcement agencies are already out on the streets with as many officers as possible as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” anti-DUI campaign.
St. Patrick’s Day is among the most deadly in terms of alcohol-fueled accidents, according to the federal agency. During St. Patty’s periods from 2010 to 2014, 266 people were killed nationwide in DUI-related wrecks, according to the NHTSA.
The California Highway Patrol says it made more than 120 DUI arrests on St. Patrick’s Day last year, down from 489 in 2014 and 430 in 2013.
“Any decline in drunk driving arrests is certainly good news, especially if it truly indicates an increase in responsible behavior,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “However, one years does not necessarily show a trend, and the CHP will continue to remind people of the dangers of drunk and impaired driving.”
CHP officials offered a series of tips for people planning to head out for St. Patrick’s Day:
— designate a sober driver if you plan to imbibe at a St. Patrick’s Day party or anywhere else;
— consider using a taxi, or other pay-to-go ride service, such as Lyft, Curb or Uber, instead of driving after drinking;
— don’t let a friend leave a party under the influence;
— call 911 if you see a someone who appears to be driving impaired; and
— research if a particular city offers a safe-rides program.
—City News Service
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