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'Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving' Warn Police As St. Patrick's Day Nears

EL MONTE ( — Law enforcement agencies are expected to deploy additional resources Thursday for St. Patrick's Day and want to remind revelers that "buzzed driving is drunk driving."

Police in El Monte, for instance, say the department plans to have officers target problem areas known for high numbers of DUI collisions and arrests.

Citing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police say there were 266 drunken driving fatalities nationwide from 2010 to 2014 during this holiday period.

"Tragically, March 17th has become one of the nation's deadliest holidays," El Monte police said in a statement. "In fact, from 2010 to 2014, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had BACs well above the .08 limit."

Before partaking in the festivities, police recommend designating a sober driver and keeping the number of a taxi company in your phone or wallet as back-up.

Also, they say, keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink as walking while intoxicated can also be deadly.

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