LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Don’t test the luck of the Irish by drinking and driving on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Irish holiday falls on a Friday this year, so several local law enforcement agencies — including Torrance, Montebello, Pasadena, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department — are planning to beef up their patrols and conduct DUI checkpoints.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 252 people were killed in drunk driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011 through 2015. More than a quarter of those fatal crashes happened in the early morning, post-party hours from midnight to 5:59 a.m.
“These needless deaths can be prevented,” police officials said in a statement. “Planning a sober ride home before the party begins is the first step in staying safe on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Authorities advised partiers to decide in advance whether they will drink or drive, rather than try to do both; commit to staying sober if deciding to drive; use public transportation, and also help anyone else nearby who might be too impaired to drive.