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Anti-DUI Efforts Target Local St. Pat’s Partiers

If you're guzzling Guinness this weekend, make sure you have a designated driver or taxi ride to get you home after the St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Don’t rely on the luck of the Irish to stay safe through St. Patrick’s Day weekend. County law enforcement leaders are stepping up DUI enforcement and want to remind everyone it takes planning and responsibility to avoid drunk driving.

The Sheriff’s Department and partner agencies, like California Highway Patrol, will be on high alert during the weekend as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign.

"Whether you are meeting a few friends at a local pub or attending a local event or party, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely," said Sheriff Bill Gore.

Deputies and officers will conduct DUI patrols as well as DUI/Driver License Checkpoints in Poway, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Oceanside and the City of San Diego during the Saint Patrick's Day weekend.

The District Attorney’s Office has launched a radio and online crime prevention campaign aimed at reducing the number of San Diegans who drive under the influence.  “Save Lives, Don’t DUI!” harnesses the power of two local radio stations, Channel 933 and Star 94.1, to reach hundreds of thousands of San Diego County residents and visitors who may be celebrating annual holidays with alcohol. 

“By partnering with two popular radio stations, we’re targeting our message through on-air personalities who relate to their listeners,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Our office prosecutes about 10,000 cases of driving under the influence every year. I hope this campaign will get people’s attention, cause them to think twice, take a cab or arrange for a designated driver—and maybe even save a life.”

The Clear Channel stations also partnered with a local taxi company to provide a coupons for $5 off a cab ride. Starting March 13 and running through the holiday weekend, dozens of on-air mentions that include messages directly from Dumanis will remind listeners not to drink and drive and will focus on the consequences if they do. The ‘Save Lives, Don’t DUI!’ campaign was funded completely with asset forfeiture funds – money seized from drug dealers and other criminals.

Whether your plans include gathering with friends at the local pub, hosting a party, or attending a local parade, designate a sober driver. The District Attorney’s Office is also offering the following safety tips:

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • If you don't have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
  • Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive and have had too much to drink.
  • Always buckle up—it's still your best defense against other drunk drivers.

—County News Center

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