The California Highway Patrol and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Riverside County on Sunday will be cracking down on motorists who attempt to try their luck driving under the influence while celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
"When you are celebrating, remember other people on the road and in your vehicle," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "Do not let alcohol or drugs cause you to become a risk to yourself and others."
According to Farrow, last year on St. Patrick's Day, one person was killed and nearly 50 injured in DUI collisions within CHP jurisdictions. The agency also arrested 285 people on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, he said.
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CHP offices in Beaumont, Blythe, Indio, Riverside and Temecula will join local law enforcement agencies countywide in taking part in anti-DUI campaigns.
The Corona and Riverside police departments plan to deploy sobriety checkpoints and conduct saturation patrols to nab suspected DUI offenders.
"We all know the dangers that come with driving impaired," Corona police Sgt. Bryan Snow said. "Let's all be responsible adults and help each other get where we need to go safely."
Law enforcement officials offered the following safety tips for partygoers and hosts:
- designate a sober driver if you plan to imbibe at a St. Patrick's Day event or anywhere else;
- consider using a taxi, or other pay-to-go ride service, such as Lyft or Uber, instead of driving after drinking; and
- don't let a friend leave a party under the influence, help arrange a ride home for the person.
Officials noted that consuming any quantity of alcohol with prescription drugs can induce impairment, so the two shouldn't be mixed.