A drunk driving checkpoint. Photo courtesy San Diego Sheriff’s Department

Law enforcement officers plan to fan out across San Diego County Thursday night and through the weekend in search of St. Patrick’s Day revelers who drive drunk.

Sheriff’s deputies plan to patrol throughout their jurisdiction from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. Friday and will staff checkpoints Friday and Saturday.

“The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will make sure your luck runs out if you get caught drinking and driving on St. Patrick’s Day,” sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen said.

The Escondido Police Department will also staff extra officers in addition to its usual patrols. They’ll be sent to “problem areas” that have historically had a high tally of traffic crashes and arrests involving alcohol or drugs. They will also be on the lookout for overly intoxicated pedestrians, according to a police statement.

St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays, according to Escondido police. From 2010 to 2014, nearly three-quarters of the drunken driving fatalities over the holiday period involved drivers whose blood- alcohol level was well above the legal limit.

Sobriety checkpoints are scheduled over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Sheriff’s deputies in San Marcos will set up shop at an undisclosed location from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday, and in the vicinity of the Broadway and Lemon Grove Avenue in the city of Lemon Grove from 8 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, according to a statement.

Chula Vista Police will also man a checkpoint somewhere in the city from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, police said.

“Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily,” a police statement said.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.