Police patrols to be out in force St. Patrick’s Day

Police patrols to be out in force St. Patrick’s Day
If you plan to get behind the wheel after too much celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, Union City law enforcement officials have some simple and sage advice: “Don’t do it.”
Police will be out in force all day and all night in a highly-visible enforcement campaign to crack down on revelers who are driving drunk.
St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday. For law enforcement, St. Patrick’s Day is defined as the period from 6 p.m. Friday to 5:59 a.m. Sunday.
“Don’t think that drinking green beer gives you the right to spill red blood on Union City streets — yours or anyone else’s,” Union City Police Chief Joe Garner said. “We encourage everyone who plans to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year with alcohol to keep in mind our anti-drunk-driving campaign slogan, ‘Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.’ If you’ve had too much to drink, make sure you can rely on a sober, designated driver to get you home safely.”
According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 percent of the motor vehicle traffic fatalities during St. Patrick’s Day 2009 involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content of .08 grams per deciliter or above, the legal level of intoxication established in every state in the union.
During St. Patrick’s Day 2009, there were 103 crash fatalities. Of that number, 39 people were killed in traffic crashes involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher.
“Alcohol not only dangerously impairs your driving skills, it also impairs your judgment. If you see friends under the influence of alcohol, make sure you don’t let them get behind the wheel,” Garner said.
He recommended the following easy steps for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
• Before drinking,  please designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
• If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Published in The Messenger 3.14.12

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