SACRAMENTO – While the public makes plans to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the California Highway Patrol is preparing to keep the roadways free of impaired drivers so that everyone can safely enjoy the festivities.
Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the CHP made 148 arrests statewide for driving under the influence. Tragically, that same day, three people were killed and 66 people were injured statewide as a result of DUI collisions.
“Don’t let a day of celebration turn into a day of tragedy,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “If you drive impaired, you risk your life and the lives of others on the road. Plan ahead before the party begins by designating a sober driver or making arrangements for a taxi or ride-hailing service.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 29 people in the United States died in alcohol-related vehicle collisions every day in 2016 — or one person every 50 minutes.
In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving collisions during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.
The CHP joins with the NHTSA in reminding motorists that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”
The CHP recommends these steps to avoid impaired driving:
* Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan 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.