PALMDALE – It may fall on a Tuesday, but that won’t keep thousands of revelers from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, and authorities are warning people to avoid drinking and driving.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will deploy roving DUI patrols within the city limits of Palmdale on March 17, in addition to its normal enforcement operations, authorities announced Monday.
Police agencies across the region are planning similar efforts.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been marred by a spike in drunken-driving fatalities across the country.
Sheriff’s officials noted that between 2009 and 2013, nearly 75 percent of the DUI fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day involved drivers whose blood-alcohol content was double the legal limit.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department offered this advice to party-goers: “Get ahead of the decision this year. If you know you’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol, then figure out a plan ahead of time for how you’ll get home. Don’t wait until you’re too buzzed to decide, and don’t let your friends drive drunk.”
Law enforcement authorities are urging drinking revelers to have a designated driver or have the number of a taxi or rideshare company on hand, and give car keys to a friend or leave them at home.
Authorities said drugs and medications can also impair people’s ability to drive.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on March 17 will also deploy roving DUI patrols within the city limits of Malibu, along with two DUI checkpoints in the cities of Bellflower and Pico Rivera.