Alcoholic drinks. Photo via Pixabay

With New Year’s around the corner, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is reminding residents not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Deputies will be conducting increased impaired driving patrols across the country through Jan. 1.

So far this year, 6,476 people have been booked into jail in San Diego County for impaired driving, with the sheriff’s department making 880 of those arrests, officials said.

“Driving while impaired is a bad decision any time of year,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “Do the responsible thing and don’t get behind the wheel while under the influence.”

In addition to alcohol, being under the influence can include prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, marijuana or illegal street drugs. Drugs in combination with alcohol magnify the amount of impairment.

The sheriff’s department offered these tips for a safe holiday:

— Plan a safe way home before festivities begin;

— Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;

— If you’re impaired, use a taxi or ride-sharing service, a sober friend/family member or use public transportation.

If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911 or the Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200.

–City News Sevice