Newport Beach Police Department
Increased DUI Patrols planned for St. Patrick’s Day
Remember: Plan Before You Party
As one of the country’s most popular holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is an occasion for millions of Americans to celebrate their Irish ancestry, and for many more to join in the festivities. Tragically, March 17 has also become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. In fact, the combined data from 2011 to 2015 shows that 252 people died as a result of drunk-driving traffic collisions during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, with more than one quarter of those collisions occurring in the early morning post-party hours (midnight to 5:59 a.m.).
To help lower deaths and injuries, the Newport Beach Police Department will be deploying extra officers on overtime to target problem areas (places with high numbers of DUI collisions and DUI arrests). The DUI patrols will join our regular officer deployment in looking for the tell-tale signs of impaired driving.
The unfortunate truth is this: while many people are making plans for St. Patrick’s Day, they aren’t all planning out a way to get home safely. Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Before you start celebrating, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both. Some revelers think that they can play it by ear, and wait until after they drink to decide whether or not they’re “okay to drive”. By then, it’s too late.
- Remember that drugs such as many prescription medications, marijuana, or illicit drugs can also lead to impairment and unsafe driving. If you mix in even a small amount of alcohol, the effects can be compounded.
- If you do decide to drink, you have many options: designate a sober, reliable driver; find a taxi company (or two) and keep their numbers in your phone; or download the California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app to get connected with free designated-driver incentives at local establishments or to order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft, or Curb.
- Help those around you be responsible too. If someone you know is impaired by alcohol or drugs, help them get home safely.
One aspect that is often overlooked it that of pedestrians who have had too much to drink. The NBPD would like to remind the public that walking while intoxicated can be deadly, as lack of attention can put a pedestrian at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
Funding for this deployment is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who reminds everyone to be alert and “Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911.” If you see a dangerous driver, call immediately.