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Local News

Law Enforcement Will Be Out in Force for St. Patrick’s Day in Santa Barbara County

Don't drink and drive on St. Patrick's Day. The luck of the Irish will not be on your side. 

Law enforcement officials in Santa Barbara County will be out in full-force Thursday on St. Patrick's Day, typically one of the most popular days for drinking and partying. 

March 17 has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 2010 to 2014, 266 drunk-driving fatalities occurred nationwide.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said that patrols will be looking for the "tell-tale signs of impaired driving," which include weaving and crossing the center line.

Authorities will also be looking for pedestrians who have also had too much to drink.  Walking while intoxicated can be deadly, as a lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. 

The Santa Barbara Police Department will have its normal staff on Thursday, which includes an officer assigned to DUI enforcement, plus two additional officers working DUI patrol.

The Police Department has assigned three additional officers to respond to party and disturbance calls. One sergeant and four police officers will work the downtown to check for underage drinking and fake ID cards. 

The California Highway Patrol will have extra patrol units working on DUI enforcement.

The County Sheriff's Office offered these tips:

» Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. 

» Find the name of a taxi company (or two), and keep their numbers in your phone,

» Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend.

» Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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