SAN DIEGO – Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are joining forces to remind motorists that driving while intoxicated can result in deadly, life-changing consequences.
“No amount of transportation engineering can protect you, your passengers or others when you get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman.
Berman added that with St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, many who celebrate may be faced with decisions early on in the evening. She said it is best to have a plan ahead of that time, and if you decide to drink, then make arrangements to designate a sober driver or take public transit or a cab. Driving while intoxicated is not an option.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said, “Enjoy your time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, just be smart about what you do when the celebration is over.”
Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the CHP made more than 430 arrests statewide for DUI, which is a 28 percent increase from 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that more than 269 people have been killed nationwide in collisions involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. Those fatalities were preventable.
“I applaud Caltrans proactive efforts to encourage those celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day to make responsible decisions regarding drinking and driving,” said MADD Executive Director Steve Lykins. “The key to saving lives is caring enough to recognize the dangers of impaired driving and to plan ahead.”
Caltrans, the CHP and MADD urge motorists to report suspected impaired drivers by pulling safely off the road and phoning 9-1-1.