St. Patrick's Day is one of the booziest days of the year and thus, according to law enforcement, one of the bloodiest on the streets and highways.
And so, like leprechauns on pots of gold fillings, Orange County police agencies step up efforts to removed drunk and drugged drivers off roads—starting tonight!
Anaheim Police Department holds a DUI/drivers license checkpoint from 8 tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday at Ball Road and Trident Street, according to the department.
Like all police, sheriff and highway patrol agencies, Anaheim's is on "heightened alert ready to stop and arrest any impaired driver throughout the long weekend."
So is the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Garden Grove police departments, which are among the agencies statewide running "saturation patrols" all weekend (and starting tonight). This special enforcement puts extra officers on roads known for drunken/drugged driving arrests, collisions and fatalities.
Don't worry: Regular patrol officers will also be keeping eyes out for DUI.
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All the agencies remind that, if you do decide to drink, you have many options: designate a sober, reliable driver; find a taxi company (or two) and keep their numbers in your phone; or download the California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app to get connected with free designated-driver incentives at local establishments or to order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft, or Curb.
If someone you know is impaired by alcohol or drugs, you are asked to help them get home safely. This includes pedestrians, as walking while intoxicated can be deadly (especially if you get clipped by a drunk driver).
And speaking of walking, the sheriff's department is also stepping up "Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations" throughout the county on Saturday, when mapped-out locations where pedestrian and bike collisions have occurred over the past three years will extra deputies patrolling them. On Sunday, specially assigned deputies will patrol areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes have occurred "to crack down on vehicle drivers and motorcyclists violating traffic safety laws."
Funding for all the departments' DUI and traffic safety deployments come from separate California Office of Traffic Safety grants, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.