Green beer on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many of us associate St. Patrick’s Day more with green beer and leprechauns than the conversion of an atheist into a Catholic in Ireland over a thousand years ago, which is understandable. While some still celebrate in church, people generally tend to head to local bars, consuming nearly 3 million pints of Guinness and copious amounts of whisky. With the holiday falling on a Monday this year, many are likely to go out and imbibe over the weekend, and law enforcement will be ready and waiting for them at the end of the night.
DUI Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols
Friday: Motorists can expect to encounter two DUI checkpoints and two saturation patrols in Los Angeles County on Friday night. LAPD cruisers and motorcycles will be patrolling downtown from 4 p.m. to midnight and South Los Angeles from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Checkpoints will be set up from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Koreatown and North Hills.
Saturday: LAPD will conduct a DUI checkpoint from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. in South Los Angeles and three others from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Pacoima, South Los Angeles, and downtown.
Sunday: Saturation patrols will be on duty from noon to 8 p.m. on the Eastside and from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the neighborhoods around USC.
Monday: LAPD officers will be patrolling the North Hollywood area from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Friday: So far, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has only released information about one checkpoint. Mission Viejo residents will find officers checking for driver’s licenses and intoxicated motorists between the hours of 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Local law enforcement usually unite to catch drunk drivers on the holidays, arresting 45 people last year, so more patrols and checkpoints throughout the county are likely this weekend.
DUI Checkpoints Combat Drunk Driving
The side of holidays that law enforcement and the attorneys and staff in our office see that many revelers don’t are the tragic-and sometimes gruesome-consequences of drunk driving. On average, 54 lives are claimed in DUI crashes on our roads and highways every St. Patrick’s Day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While DUI checkpoints and patrols probably only catch a small fraction of drunk drivers, they serve as a strong deterrent to the dangerous behavior, reducing alcohol-involved accidents by 20 percent when well publicized.
If the thought of spending the night in jail, losing your license, and paying thousands in fines and fees doesn’t deter you from drinking and driving this weekend, we hope the possibility of seriously or fatally injuring others or yourself does.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie wish you and your family a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day.