Yuba, Sutter, Colusa counties plan DUI crackdown for St. Patrick's Day
The Avoid the 9 Task Force recommends steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day:
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
• If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
• Use your community's sober ride program.
• Report Drunk Drivers — Call 911.
• If you know someone who is about to drive a car or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take the keys and help that person make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.
Police plan additional patrols to crack down on drunken driving on St. Patrick's Day in Yuba, Sutter and Colusa counties.
"Today we are giving fair warning to everyone traveling in Yuba, Sutter, and Colusa counties that our law enforcement officers will be out on patrol," Police Sgt. Chris Sachs said in a statement, "and if you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested."
Sachs said additional patrolling begins at noon Sunday and continue into early Monday.
The Avoid the 9 DUI Task Force will have roving patrols over the weekend looking to arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. These patrols are in addition to regularly-scheduled patrol officers.
First-time offenders with no criminal history and clean driving records face a minimum of two days in a county jail, three years of probation, at least 24 hours of community service, along with fines between $1,700 and $1,800, according to prosecutors in Yuba and Sutter counties.
A study published last year by researchers at UC San Diego showed even a trace of alcohol, .01 percent, typically less than one full drink, increases the odds of a traffic collision.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.
Deadly day for DUIs
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunken drivers during St. Patrick's Day holidays from 2006 to 2010.
On average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunken-driving crash in the United States and the majority of these crashes involve drivers who have a .15 percent blood-alcohol level or higher, almost twice legal limit.