NEWS, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Lt. Jeff Hallock, 714.904.7042, JHallock@ocsd.org; Emily Osterberg, 714.647.1840, EOsterberg@ocsd.org
DUI Task Force Deploying on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend
SANTA ANA, Calif. (March 13, 2015) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Task Force will be deploying roving DUI patrols during this St. Patrick’s Day Holiday weekend within the cities of Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Rancho Santa Margarita. In addition to regularly scheduled DUI Task Force officer, these DUI patrols will be looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs.
St. Patrick’s Day has become a deadly day in the United States, with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities. In 2013, there were 31 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on March 17. From 2009 to 2013, there have been 276 drunk-driving fatalities around the holiday, with almost three-fourths of the drivers being twice the legal limit. Every one of those lives was lost because of bad decisions.
Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Task Force offered this advice to partygoers: “Get ahead of the decision this year. If you know you’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol, make a plan ahead of time for how you’ll get home. Don’t wait until you’re too buzzed to decide, and don’t let your friends drive drunk.” Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so if you have anything to drink, count on a sober friend or public transportation to get you home safely.
Use this party-planning checklist to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day:
Plan to drive sober or designate someone else to. If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely. Save the number of a taxi company in your phone so you always have a backup plan.
Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend.
If you know people who are about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
If you’re the designated driver, don’t drink. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and brag about your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #designateddriver. Only drive sober or ride with a sober driver.
Use the DDVIP app. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Also through the app, users who consume alcohol can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds you to ‘Report Drunk Drivers: Call 9-1-1!’
Funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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