Law Enforcement Issues Warning About Increased Enforcement on St. Patrick's Day


Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles have issued a warning to Southlanders celebrating St. Patrick's Day, stating that officers will be on the lookout for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest periods on our nation's roadways. Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Craig Valenzuela advised people to plan ahead, designate a sober driver, schedule a rideshare, or make other arrangements to get home safely if they plan to consume alcohol. Valenzuela also cautioned that marijuana, prescription medications, or over-the-counter drugs may cause impairment, and advised people to research how certain drugs may affect their driving ability.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has called on business licensees to do their part in the safety effort. ABC Director Eric Hirata stated that ABC agents will be out on St. Patrick's Day to help keep communities safe, and that licensed businesses can contribute by checking IDs and not over-serving alcohol to patrons. In partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety, ABC has been delivering educational messages in response to the high number of drunk driving crashes that occur near St. Patrick's Day each year.

Hirata noted that statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that drunk driving crashes caused 287 deaths during the St. Patrick's Day period between 2016 and 2020. In 2020, 36% of fatal crashes involved a drunk driver during the same period. The funding for St. Patrick's Day enforcement is provided by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety through NHTSA.

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