Special St. Patrick’s Day detail monitors county roadways for drunk drivers

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – Motorists thinking about trying their luck drinking and driving on Riverside County roads today, Mon., March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), better think again.

All day today, the county’s Avoid the 30 task force — named for the number of participating law enforcement agencies — will be staffing sobriety checkpoints and deploying saturation patrols to snare drivers who risk imbibing and getting behind the wheel.

“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it,” said Avoid coordinator Riverside police Sgt. Skip Showalter. “If you know you’re going to drink — whether with friends at a pub or attending a party — designate a sober driver ahead of time, or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely. There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

On St. Patrick’s Days between 2007 and 2011, 269 people died in DUI-related wrecks around the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

DUI enforcement operations are planned in unincorporated communities throughout the county, as well as the cities of Canyon Lake, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Palm Springs and Riverside.

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