This St. Patrick’s Day, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) remains on alert for impaired drivers, and CHP joins with the California Office of Traffic Safety in reminding drivers to travel safely.

“The CHP is committed to making California’s roadways safe for all who use them. Remember to buckle up, slow down, don’t drive distracted, and never drive impaired. If you chose to celebrate, please do so responsibly by designating a sober driver or making other arrangements to get home safe.”

CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray

The CHP wants everyone to remember safe driving rules have not changed and that officers will be on the lookout for impaired driving. The CHP also cautions drivers that alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. Cannabis, prescription medications, and illegal drugs can all lead to impaired driving.

Throughout the country, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2020, 327 fatal alcohol-related crashes occurred on St. Patrick’s Day. Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle related fatalities in the United States, NHTSA data shows.

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In California, the CHP made 67 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day last year. Data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows alcohol- or drug-related crashes resulted in injuries to 31 people.

“Think of your safety and that of others before deciding whether it is safe for you to drive,” Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney said. “We urge all drivers to make getting home safely part of your celebratory plans.”

The public can help keep California roadways safe by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect an impaired driver. Callers should be prepared to give the vehicle’s description, location, license plate number, and direction of travel.

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