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Additional officers will be on patrol throughout North County San Diego over the weekend due to St. Patrick's Day. The Coast News graphic
Additional officers will be on patrol throughout North County San Diego over the weekend due to St. Patrick's Day. The Coast News graphic
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DUI patrols slated for St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego area

REGION — Law enforcement agencies warned today that additional officers will be on patrol throughout North County San Diego over the weekend due to St. Patrick’s Day, reminding the public to celebrate responsibly.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said it will deploy additional patrols over a 12-hour period looking for people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, the day on which the holiday honoring Ireland’s foremost patron saint falls.

Likewise, Carlsbad and Escondido police will prioritize DUI enforcement over the weekend, the departments announced. The California Highway Patrol is also expected to step up enforcement.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a time for celebration, but it’s important to celebrate responsibly,” Carlsbad police Lt. Alonso DeVelasco said. “Planning to get home before the festivities begin, either by rideshare or identifying a sober driver, can save lives. It’s a simple way to ensure everyone traveling on our roads gets to their destination safely.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest times on the nation’s roads. More than 13,384 preventable deaths throughout 2021 involved drunk driving, which represented 31% of all traffic fatalities in the country that year. Over the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, 47 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in the U.S.

Last St. Patrick’s Day, three dozen motorists were arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving in the San Diego area, according to the sheriff’s department.

So far this year, a total of 1,342 people have been jailed on DUI charges in the county, the agency reported.

“The Carlsbad Police Department wants to warn the community that alcohol is not the only substance that can cause impairment. Marijuana, prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs may also impair. Do your research and understand how certain drugs may affect your driving ability,” the city said.

Grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety funded the agencies’ increased holiday DUI enforcement.

City News Service contributed to this report. 

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