St. Patrick's Day revelers could face an increased police presence on city streets this weekend as they travel to and fro.
The Avoid the 38/Orange County DUI Task Force will be deploying additional officers on overtime this weekend beginning tonight, where a checkpoint is scheduled in Mission Viejo. The task force operates in addition to regular patrols in city streets.
However, there are no plans for a DUI checkpoint in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Nevertheless, officers from police, sheriff and the California Highway Patrol will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and exercise zero tolerance toward impaired drivers who don't use a designated driver.
Last year during the St. Patrick’s Day period, there were three people killed and 96 seriously injured in traffic accidents across California involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, according to statistics compiled by the California Office of Traffic Safety.
“Whether you are meeting a few friends after work or attending a local event or party, if alcohol is part of the celebration, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely, or contact your local cab company for a safe trip,” said Dep. Wayne Howard with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Bureau.
Law enforcement officials recommend the following easy steps for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin and designate a sober driver.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to report them by calling 911.
- If you know people who are about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.