St. Patrick's Day - Tuesday, March 17th - is nearly here and that means the weekend preceding the infamous Irish holiday is sure to be filled with St. Patty's parties and plenty of green beer. In America, St. Patrick's Day is considered one of the most popular drinking holidays of the year. Unfortunately, it has also become a holiday associated with binge drinking and high rates of drunk driving accidents, injuries, and deaths.
From a glance at common St. Patrick's Day statistics, it becomes clear that drinking and driving are real concerns:
- From 2009 to 2013, 276 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick's Day.
- From 2008 to 2012, almost three quarters of drunk driving deaths on St. Patrick's day involved a driver who was more than two times the legal limit of .08.
- In 2008, 3 out of 4 fatal auto accidents on St. Patrick's Day involved a drunk driver.
- Binge drinking increases of the risk of getting a DUI by more than 14x.
Because law enforcement across the country are well aware of the impact St. Patrick's Day has on public safety, agencies typically ramp up their efforts to arrest intoxicated individuals and drivers who get behind the wheel while under the influence. Their efforts will include:
- Saturation Patrols - Local law enforcement will increase the number of officers on the road looking for signs of impaired drivers, which may include unsafe speeds and swerving, among others. Patrolling officers will also be on the lookout for overly intoxicated individuals. On holidays like St. Patrick's Day, arrests for drunk in public and assault tend to increase.
- DUI Checkpoints - Officers will be setting up DUI checkpoints at various times and in various locations throughout the County. These checkpoints are designed to screen drivers who may be under the influence. Officers have already announced plans for several checkpoints during St. Patrick's Day and the weekend before, including one in Thousand Oaks and another in Oxnard
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our attorneys are familiar with periods of increased DUI enforcement and we have represented many clients who were arrested for DUI during the holidays. We understand that an arrest can be a troubling experience for both suspects and their families, and we make ourselves readily available to provide immediate support and assistance.
If you wish to speak with a lawyer from our firm about a recent DUI arrest in Ventura County, call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP for a free consultation.