As Californians throughout the state plan to celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) encourage motorists to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, or arrange for a safe and sober ride home.
The CHP joins law enforcement agencies statewide for the St. Patrick’s Day California Avoid DUI Task Force Enforcement Campaign March 16-17, 2014. As part of the campaign, law enforcement throughout the state will be cracking down on anyone caught impaired behind the wheel.
Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the CHP made more than 430 arrests statewide for DUI, which is a 28 percent increase from 2012. NHTSA reports that more than 269 people have been killed nationwide in collisions involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. Those fatalities were preventable.
“Enjoy your time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, just be smart about what you do when the celebration is over,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Whether you are with your friends at a local pub or enjoying a celebratory event, designate a sober driver ahead of time, or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely.”
The CHP along with OTS and NHTSA recommends these simple tips for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Use your community’s sober driver programs, if available.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.
- And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.