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Southlanders Urged Not To Drink And Drive On St. Patrick's Day

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Authorities are urging residents not to drive while impaired this St. Patrick's Day.

"The California Highway Patrol is committed to making California's roadways safe for all who use them," said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. "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."

Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County, including the El Monte Police Department, will be patrolling areas, keeping an eye out for impaired motorists.

"Don't make poor choices and allow yourself to mix alcohol or drugs with driving," El Monte police Chief David Reynoso said. "It only takes one intoxicated driver to change the lives of many forever."

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, last year there were 327 fatal alcohol-related crashes nationwide on St. Patrick's Day.

Last St. Patrick's Day, the CHP made 67 arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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," California 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 roadways safe by calling 911 if they suspect an impaired driver.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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