Sheriff's vehicle
A San Diego Sheriff’s vehicle. Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Law enforcement officers across the San Diego area will conduct extra DUI patrols Friday evening to keep watch for booze-addled St. Patrick’s Day revelers behind the wheel.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will have additional deputies on the streets to look for intoxicated drivers over a 12-hour period, starting at 6 p.m., the agency reported.

“People who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana and prescription drugs, put everyone’s lives in danger,” sheriff’s officials asserted in a prepared statement.

During the comparable holiday period last year, 21 people were arrested and booked into local jails on suspicion of substance-impaired driving, according to the regional law enforcement agency. So far in 2023, 1,350 people have been arrested for allegedly driving while inebriated in the county, sheriff’s officials said.

The National City Police Department also will deploy additional officers to patrol for intoxicated partiers driving in the South Bay city, the agency advised.

“Leave your keys at home, and plan ahead before you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” NCPD Sgt. Damian Ballardo said. “Designate a sober driver, schedule a rideshare, or make other plans to get home safely if you plan to consume alcohol.”

Grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety provided funding for the agencies’ increased holiday DUI enforcement.

Updated at 11:55 a.m. March 17, 2023

— City News Service