Garden Grove PD plans St. Patrick's Day DUI patrols

By Lou Ponsi

The Garden Grove Police Department will deploy additional officers on special DUI saturation patrols from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. on St.  Patrick’s Day (March 17) to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States and is celebrated by most Americans. As partiers head home, however, the merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions.

In 2016, 60 people were killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.

Garden Grove PD, the Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol encourage revelers to plan ahead and to remember that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.” This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.

In recent years, California has seen an increase in drug-impaired driving crashes, and Garden Grove PD supports the Office of Traffic Safety’s new campaign educating drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Those taking prescription drugs might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana also can cause impairment, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

Garden Grove PD recommends the following alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously—your friends are relying on you.
  • There are many other ways to ensure a safe ride home besides relying on a friend. The California of Office Safety launched a designated driver mobile app. The app is free to download on iOS and Android devices, and allows users to search participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users can also order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft, or Curb.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program.
  • If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take their keys and make arrangements to get them home safely.
  • Always remember to report drunk drivers by calling 911.