Long Beach Police to Deploy St. Patrick’s Day Saturation Patrol

The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) will deploy additional officers on St. Patrick’s Day to stop and arrest drivers showing any signs of alcohol impairment, authorities announced.

Additionally, all police, sheriff deputies and the California Highway Patrol will be on heightened alert throughout the holiday weekend for impaired drivers.

From 2011 to 2015, 252 people lost their lives in drunk-driving related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. More than 25 percent of them were killed in crashes that occurred between midnight and 5:59AM.

“These needless deaths can be prevented,” Long Beach Police Commander Don Wood said in a statement. “Planning a sober ride home before the party begins is the first step in staying safe on St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to make your transportation decision. Designate your sober driver in advance, and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.”

In addition to Wood’s suggestions, LBPD also advises that, if you are planning on driving, commit to being sober. The Designated Driver VIP (DDVIP) free mobile app for Android or iPhone helps find nearby bars and restaurants that offer free incentives for the designated driver including non-alcoholic drinks, appetizers and more. The app also has a tab for the non-designated driver to call a ride-sharing service.

If you have been drinking, call a taxi, sober friend or family member, or use public transportation or a local rideshare program.

It is also important to help those around you be responsible and not let them get behind the wheel if they are under the influence. Walking while impaired can also be deadly, for lack of attention could heighten one’s chance of getting hit by a vehicle.

This enforcement, funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Administration, reminds everyone to be alert and report drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.