St. Patrick’s Day, like Cinco de Mayo, is popular holiday in the United States that is often associated with overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Paddy’s Day holiday period (from March 16, 2018, 6 PM to March 18, 2018, 6 AM) nationwide. The selfish act of drinking and driving can rip people from their friends and loved ones forever. For this reason, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is working to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving. Even one drink can be one too many. If you’re heading out for the Irish festivities, plan ahead and remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
The LAPD will deploy additional officers at the following DUI Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols, which will be conducted to specifically stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment:
Friday, March 16, 2018 • 5 PM to 1 AM – DUI Saturation Patrol: North Hollywood Area • 7 PM to 12 AM – DUI Saturation Patrol: Rampart Area • 7 PM to 12 AM – DUI Checkpoint: Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard & Figueroa Street • 8 PM to 1 AM – DUI Checkpoint: Vermont Avenue & 6th Street
Saturday, March 17, 2018 • 5 PM to 1 AM – DUI Saturation Patrol: Southwest Area • 5 PM to 1 AM – DUI Saturation Patrol: Wilshire Area • 8 PM to 1 AM – DUI Checkpoint: Figueroa Street & 9th Street • 8 PM to 1 AM – DUI Checkpoint: Van Nuys Boulevard & Remick Avenue
Note: Locations of the checkpoints are subject to change or cancellation.
The California Highway Patrol, county sheriff departments and municipal police departments will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes. In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The LAPD supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Also, marijuana use can lead to impairment, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
Remember: It’s not just about you. There are other people on the roads who want to get where they are going safely. Don’t let alcohol and or drug impairment cause you to be a risk to yourself and others on the road. Impaired driving is an act of selfishness. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you feel a buzz, you are in no shape to drive.”
The LAPD recommends the following safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
• Always remember to plan ahead. If you plan to drink or use marijuana, make arrangements for someone not impairment to drive you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously-your friends are relying on you.
• Don’t forget about the other safe ways available to get home. The OTS DDVIP smarthphone application is now available to download for free on iOS and Android devices. The app offers enhanced features that allows users to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Additionally, the app users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb.
• Have a friend who is about to drink or use marijuana and drive? Be a good friend. Take their keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.
• Always remember to report impaired drivers – call 911.
This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The next DUI campaign is set for Cinco de Mayo.