MHPD increases DUI patrols on holiday

Two extra traffic officers on the streets

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up March 17, Morgan Hill Police are reminding revelers to stay sober if they’re planning on driving during the holiday. Motorists who drive in an impaired state risk not only arrest, fines and incarceration; they could cause death or injury to themselves, a loved one or stranger on the roads, police warned in a press release.

On Sunday, March 17, the Morgan Hill Police Department will have two extra traffic officers on patrol to stop and arrest motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, according to police. The holiday is known for celebratory consumption of alcoholic beverages at bars, restaurants and households late into the evening.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), one person was killed, and 48 others were injured in DUI crashes on St. Patrick’s Day last year, reads a press release from MHPD. In 2017, 59 people died nationwide in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday (March 16 to March 18), accounting for 37 percent of all traffic deaths.

MHPD officers are encouraging locals to plan ahead and use a designated sober driver, rideshare or public transportation.

“Don’t even put yourself in a position where you need to ask whether you are okay to drive,” MHPD Sgt. Ray Ramos said. “If you feel the slightest hint of a buzz, you should not be driving.”

Police also reminded people that prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana can impair driving abilities, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

Funding for MHPD’s St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement comes from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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