The Bakersfield Police Department appears to have little patience for one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, and especially one that falls on a Friday.
In a news release, Bakersfield Police said they will be stepping up patrols on St. Patrick’s Day on Friday to prevent drunk drivers from doing harm.
“These needless deaths can be prevented,” said Bakersfield Police Department Sergeant Bill Ware. “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 this St Patrick’s Day enforcement effort, all police, sheriff, and the CHP will be on heightened alert, ready to stop and arrest any impaired driver throughout the long weekend. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 250 people have been killed nationwide in drunk driving-related crashes during St. Patrick’s Day celebration from 2011 through 2015.
The BPD also provided these tips:
- Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive.
You can’t do both. “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving”
- If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested for a DUI.
- Drugs such as many prescription medications, marijuana or illicit drugs can also lead to impairment and unsafe driving, leading to a DUI. When mixed with even a small amount of alcohol the affects can be compounded.
- If you have been drinking, call a taxi, sober friend or family member, and utilize public transportation. You can download the Designated Driver VIP free mobile app, “DDVIP”, for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber or Lyft.
- Help those around you be responsible. Walking while impaired can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. If someone you know is impaired by alcohol or drugs, do not let them get behind the wheel and help them find a sober ride home.