Sonora, CA — St. Patrick’s Day is not the time to test your luck, especially on the roadways after celebrating the holiday.
The CHP wants to remind everyone to enjoy the party, but be safe. “We want everyone to enjoy the festivities and have a good time, but to do so responsibly. Ensuring safety on California’s roadways is everyone’s responsibility,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Remember to designate a sober driver before the party starts or make arrangements for a taxi or ride-sharing service.”
It could save your life according to Officer Faustino Pulido who has the numbers to back up that statement. He points to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistic that found one person in the US dies in an alcohol-related vehicle collision every 53 minutes, which costs taxpayers $52 billion a year due to the deaths and damages. Pulido adds “Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the CHP made 145 arrests statewide for driving under the influence. Tragically, that same day, three people were killed and nearly 60 people were injured statewide as a result of DUI collisions”.
The CHP provided these steps to avoid impaired driving:
- Designate a sober driver or have alternate transportation before you go out to drink.
- If you are hosting a party, serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party.
- If you see a friend who is too drunk to drive, take their keys and call them a cab or ride-share, or give them a ride home.
- If you see a suspected impaired driver, call 9-1-1. Your phone call may save someone’s life.
In regards to not having a Maximum Enforcement Period for this holiday, Pulido relays, “It varies all the time because it doesn’t always fall on a weekend. It’s not like one of those extended holiday weekends where we expect more cars on the road; this is not going to increase our traffic flow. However, it’s likely to increase DUIs.”