CHP motorcycle officers
California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers. Courtesy CHP

Law enforcement officers across Southern California will be watching for people who overindulge on St. Patrick’s Day and get behind the wheel.

“The California Highway Patrol is committed to making California’s roadways safe for all who use them,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “Remember to buckle up, slow down, don’t drive distracted, and never drive impaired.”

“If you chose to celebrate, please do so responsibly by designating a sober driver or making other arrangements to get home safe,” he said.

Ray noted that alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence.

“Cannabis, prescription medications, and illegal drugs can all lead to impaired driving,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies across South California will be on the lookout for impaired motorists, with Chula Vista Police planning special saturation patrols in the South Bay.

In 2020, 327 fatal alcohol-related crashes occurred on St. Patrick’s Day around the nation, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

In California, the CHP made 67 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day last year.

City News Service contributed to this article.

The public can help keep roadways safe by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect an impaired driver. Callers should be prepared to give the vehicle’s description, location, license plate number and direction of travel.

Chris Jennewein

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