During this holiday Police, Sheriff, and CHP Officers throughout Santa Barbara County will be on high alert, cracking down on drunk drivers as part of its ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ public safety campaign.

“Drunk driving is dangerous, deadly and against the law – and it will not be tolerated in communities this St. Patrick’s Day,” said Sgt. Kevin Huddle of the Sheriff’s Office. “Today we are giving fair warning to everyone traveling in Santa Barbara County during this holiday weekend that our law enforcement officers will be out on patrol and if you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested.”

The ‘AVOID the 12’ DUI Task Force will be deploying special roving DUI patrols this St. Patrick’s Day weekend in several of our communities, looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. These DUI patrols are in addition to regularly scheduled patrol shifts, where all officers are all looking for the tell-tale signs of an impaired driver behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during St. Patrick ’s Day holidays from 2006 to 2010.

On average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash in the United States and the majority of these crashes involve drivers who have a .15% BAC or higher, almost twice legal limit of .08%.

“Whether you are gathering with friends at the local pub or attending a private event, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely, or call a local taxi cab company to arrange a safe ride home,” said Sgt. Huddle.

The ‘AVOID the 12’ Task Force recommends the following easy steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.

• Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911.

And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive a car or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take the keys and help that person make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

‘AVOID the 12’ is named for the 12 Law Enforcement agencies within Santa Barbara County that work together to combat impaired driving.


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