St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by millions across the country, often culminating in parties where drinking is involved. Sadly, this leads to tragedies on our roadways because of drivers who choose to leave parties impaired.
This St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, the Pasadena Police Department Traffic Section will have extra officers on patrol from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. ready to stop and arrest drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
According to data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), one person was killed and 48 others were injured in DUI crashes on St. Patrick’s Day last year. In 2017, 59 people were killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from March 16-March 18, accounting for 37 percent of all traffic deaths.
Due to St. Patrick’s Day becoming a dangerous holiday on our roads, the Pasadena Police Department encourages everyone to plan ahead and use a designated sober driver, ride-share or public transportation. Even one drink can be one too many.
“Don’t put yourself in a position where you need to ask whether you are okay to drive,” Pasadena Police Department Lieutenant Mark Goodman said. “If you feel the slightest hint of a buzz, you should not be driving.”
The Pasadena Police Department also wants to remind everyone that a “DUI doesn’t just mean booze.” Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana can all be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
“We all know the dangers about driving impaired,” Lieutenant Goodman said. “Let’s all be responsible and help each other get where we need to go safely. DUI arrests are completely avoidable, and the life you save may be your own.”
“DUI prevention and education is a community effort,” said Lieutenant Goodman. “This year we are working with Day One to help get the word out and encourage people to Rethink Alcohol and Other Drugs (RAD).” RAD reminds you to plan ahead for a safe St. Patrick’s Day with five simple steps:
- Talk about the risks of excessive alcohol use with your teens, friends and family.
- Only drive sober – designate a non-drinking driver before any celebration, and encourage others to do the same.
- Take the keys – never let friends drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. • Be a responsible host – serve water and offer non-alcoholic beverages.
- Never provide alcohol or drugs to minors.
By working together we can take the steps necessary to keep everyone in our community safe.
Funding for St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.