As residents across Orange County prepare to celebrate one of the country’s most popular holidays, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Enforcement Team is preparing to keep the roads safe. OCSD will be conducting roving DUI patrols throughout the county Friday in an effort to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers as part of the department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign.
Tragically, St. Patrick’s Day become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 2010 to 2014, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had BACs well above the .08 limit, with 266 drunk-driving fatalities total. In 2014, 18 people were killed in drunken driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day.
These sobering statistics serve as a reminder to plan ahead if you plan to celebrate. Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. Even one drink is dangerous if you are behind the wheel of a car.
Let’s make 2016 safer. Use this party-planning checklist to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day.
PARTY PREPARATION: Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. Find the name of a taxi company (or two), or another ride share program such as Uber, Curb or Lyft.
ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening.
If you’re the designated driver, do not drink. Your friends are relying on you, as are the people with whom you share the road. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and tweet your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #designateddriver.
EVERY DAY: Commit to driving sober St. Patrick’s Day and every day. Always keep the number of a taxi company or rideshare program in your phone or wallet so you have a backup plan if you find yourself in need of a sober driver.
Also be sure to download NHTSA’s SaferRide app. Using your location, the app can find a taxi nearby, as well as help you contact a friend from your selected list of contacts. If you’re impaired, don’t let pride get in the way of calling a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Help spread the word about the dangers of drunken driving, and the resources available to keep the streets safe.
The cost of a ride home is cheap. Those caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.
This article was released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.