Crime, Fire + Courts

DUI task force deploys St. Patrick’s Day patrols

By March 14, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day is a popular night to socialize with friends, family and co-workers. But with so many local establishments promoting alcohol sales or special promotional events, far too many drunken drivers head out onto streets, making it dangerous for all, law enforcement officers say.

As a counter-measure to all the “green beer” on sale St Patty’s Day, Yolo County’s “AVOID the 8″ drunken-driving task force will deploy additional roving saturation patrols Thursday in Davis, Woodland, West Sacramento and Winters to take drunken drivers off the road before they crash.

“Whether you are meeting a few friends at the local pub after work or attending the celebration in the park in Sacramento, if you plan on drinking, never drive while impaired — and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired,” Davis Police Chief Landy Black said.

The extra saturation patrols will supplement regularly scheduled shift deployments planned for Thursday, focusing on areas with high incidents of DUI collisions and arrests.

The Davis Police Department recommends the following easy steps for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:

* Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

* Before drinking, 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 in order to get home safely.

* Call 911 if you see a drunken driver on the road.

* And remember, 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 buzzed or drunk is simply not worth the risk,” Black said. “Don’t depend on dumb luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Give up your keys, and designate your sober driver before the party begins.”

The “AVOID the 8″ DUI campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The coalition’s next DUI campaigns are set for Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day weekend.

Special to The Enterprise

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