Anti-DUI Checkpoint, Patrols and Luck o’ Lyft Run All St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Who even knew there was a Leprechaun in the Hood movie? Courtesy Trimark Pictures

The Buena Park Police Department Traffic Unit holds a St. Patrick’s Day DUI checkpoint Saturday from 7 p.m. through 3 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Garden Grove and Newport Beach police departments are among the Orange County law enforcement agencies that will run “saturation patrols” all weekend.

And, tonight and Saturday night, Lyft is offering OC passengers a golden opportunity to win big with a special in-ride experience. More on that below. 

Saturation patrols put especially assigned police officers on streets known for drugged- or drunken-driving stops, arrests, crashes and deaths. Of course, cops out on their normal patrols will be keen to DUIs as well.

The patrols begin in Garden Grove and Newport Beach at 6 p.m., but the beach city’s runs through 3 a.m. while the inland enclave’s lasts until 4 a.m.

Funding for anti-DUI operations comes to each agency from separate California Office of Traffic Safety grants, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This is why, according to the OTS: “As one of the country’s most popular holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is an occasion for millions of Americans to celebrate their Irish ancestry, and for many more to join in the festivities. Tragically, March 17 has also become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. In 2016 alone, 60 people across the nation died as a result of drunk-driving traffic collisions during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6:00 p.m. on March 16 to 5:59 a.m. on March 18).”

The state office offers these tips:

· Before you start celebrating, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both. Some revelers think that they can play it by ear, and wait until after they drink to decide whether or not they’re “okay to drive.” By then, it’s too late.

· Remember that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Drugs (such as many prescription medications, marijuana, or illicit drugs) can also lead to impairment and unsafe driving. If you mix in even a small amount of alcohol, the effects can be compounded.

· If you do decide to drink, you have many options: designate a sober, reliable driver; find a taxi company (or two) and keep their numbers in your phone; or download the California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app to get connected with free designated-driver incentives at local establishments or to order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft, or Curb.

· Help those around you be responsible too. If someone you know is impaired by alcohol or drugs, help them get home safely.

· Be alert and report drunk drivers by calling 9-1-1 immediately.

Need a Lyft? (Courtesy of Lyft)

Also in the offering mood is the ride service Lyft, which is giving local passengers a chance at  “Lucky Mode,” which is described as “a fully immersive ride experience that takes on the spirit of luck this holiday.”

There will be the eye-catching car above providing a “fully Instagrammable ride, an in-car experience to play a race-against-the-clock game for the chance to test the ‘luck o’ the Irish’ and win big, and a backseat photo booth to remember the holiday.”

Use the app and let ‘er rip, leprechauns!

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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