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March 15, 2010 (San Diego) -- Sheriff Bill Gore wants to send a reminder about St. Patrick’s Day and safe driving. For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, due to the large number of drunk drivers, the night out has also become very dangerous. On St. Patrick’s Day 2008, thre were 134 fatal crashes—and 37 percent of the drivers and motorcyclists involved had a blood alcohol content of .08 or above, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Whether you are meeting a few friends at the local pub after work or attending a local party, if you plan on using alcohol, never drive while impaired—and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” is the message Sheriff Gore is emphasizing.

The San Diego Sheriff Department recommends the following steps, for a safe St. Patrick’s Day.


*Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;

* Before drinking, please 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 so you are sure to get home safely;

* Use your community’s Sober Rides program.

* If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;

* If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

“Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk,” said Sheriff Gore. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant. Don’t depend on dumb luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Designate your sober driver before the party begins.”

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