Los Angeles County: DUI Checkpoints This St. Patrick’s Day

LA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

Crime ImageLos Angeles County -– With St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, Glendora Police Chief, Tim Staab, and the ‘Avoid the 100 DUI Task Force’ are reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 269 people were senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. Those fatalities were preventable.

The Avoid the 100 Los Angeles County DUI Task Force will be deploying 87 roving DUI patrols this St. Patrick’s Day, as well as 13 DUI checkpoints throughout the county looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. These DUI patrols and checkpoints are in addition to regularly scheduled patrol officers and they will all be looking for the tell-tale signs of an impaired driver behind the wheel.

“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it. If you know you’re going to drink, whether with friends at a pub or attending a party, designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” said Chief Staab. “There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

According to NHTSA, on average, one person was killed every 53 minutes in a drunken driving crash in the U.S. in 2011.  Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08.  To prevent these tragedies from occurring, Chief Staab recommends the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

– Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

– Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

– If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.

– If available, use your community’s sober ride program.

– If you see a drunk driver on the road, report them!  Call 9-1-1. You could save a life.

– And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to safely get where they are going.

The Task Force is funded through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Avoid DUI Task Force will next deploy operations on Cinco de Mayo.