St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s favorite holidays to celebrate and party. Unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking, making the holiday one of our most dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 252 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011-2015. More than a fourth of them were killed in drunk driving crashes that occurred in the early morning, post-party hours (midnight to 5:59 a.m.).
That’s why the Laguna Beach Police Department and the California Office of Traffic Safety are teaming up to reach all drivers with an important life-saving message and warning: Don’t Drive Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol.
Drugs such as many prescription medications, marijuana or illicit drugs can also lead to impairment and unsafe driving. When mixed with even a small amount of alcohol, the affects can be compounded.
Additional officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department will deploy this weekend specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment. In addition to this St Patrick’s Day enforcement effort, all police, sheriff and the CHP will be on heightened alert ready to stop and arrest any impaired driver throughout the weekend.
These needless deaths can be prevented. Planning a sober ride home before the party begins is the first step in staying safe on St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to make your transportation decision. Designate your sober driver in advance, and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.
This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminds everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’ if you see a dangerous driver.