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East County News Service

March 16, 2022 (Sacramento) -- This St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds drivers to avoid taking chances and have a sober ride home if their plans include alcohol. Unfortunately, the party often ends with risky drunk drivers taking to the streets and endangering countless lives, and/or being arrested for drunk driving.

“If you plan on drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day, do not rely on luck -- and designate a sober driver, use a rideshare service, public transit or a taxi to ensure you reach your destination safely,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Not having a plan in place if your celebration includes the use of alcohol can result in a crash, jail time, injuries, or even death.”

Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, CHP officers made 211 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI). Tragically, that same day, three people died, and 76 people were injured statewide as a result of DUI crashes.

Always remember to buckle up, avoid distractions while driving, and designate a sober driver if your St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes alcohol. The financial impact of a DUI can be sobering as attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and car repairs can reach $15,000 or more in California.

The CHP joins with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in reminding motorists that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

To help keep the roads safe, the CHP encourages the public to report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1. Be prepared to provide the public safety dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, location, and the direction the vehicle is traveling.

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