Law enforcement officers will be keeping a close watch on Southland roadways Wednesday in search of people who overindulge on St. Patrick's Day and get behind the wheel.
"The California Highway Patrol is committed to making California's roadways safe for all who use them," said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. "Remember to buckle up, slow down, don't drive distracted, and never drive impaired. If you chose to celebrate, please do so responsibly by designating a sober driver or making other arrangements to get home safe."
Ray noted that alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence.
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"Cannabis, prescription medications, and illegal drugs can all lead to impaired driving," he said.
Law enforcement agencies across Los Angeles County will be on the lookout for impaired motorists, including the El Monte Police Department.
"Don't make poor choices and allow yourself to mix alcohol or drugs with driving," El Monte police Chief David Reynoso said. "It only takes one intoxicated driver to change the lives of many forever."
In 2020, 327 fatal alcohol-related crashes occurred on St. Patrick's Day around the nation, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
In California, the CHP made 67 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on St. Patrick's Day last year. Data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows alcohol- or drug-related crashes resulted in injuries to 31 people.
"Think of your safety and that of others before deciding whether it is safe for you to drive," California Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney said. "We urge all drivers to make getting home safely part of your celebratory plans."
The public can help keep roadways safe by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect an impaired driver. Callers should be prepared to give the vehicle's description, location, license plate number and direction of travel.