Out For St. Patrick's And Drinking Green? Watch Out For The Boys In Blue

(FOX 11 / CNS) Thousands of Southlanders will celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, prompting authorities to crack down on drunken driving.

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is planning to deploy rolling DUI patrols in Palmdale, Malibu, Bellflower and Pico Rivera, in addition to its normal enforcement operations. Police agencies across the region are planning similar efforts.

The Los Angeles Police Department plans to operate checkpoints tonight at Spring and Seventh streets, and also at Highland and DeLongpre avenues in the Hollywood area. The department will also run "saturation patrols," deploying extra officers to be on the lookout for impaired drivers in South Los Angeles and North Hollywood.

According to the Sheriff's Department, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been marred by a spike in drunken-driving fatalities across the country. Sheriff's officials noted that between 2009 and 2013, nearly 75 percent of the DUI fatalities on St. Patrick's Day involved drivers whose blood-alcohol content was double the legal limit.

Law enforcement authorities advised people planning to imbibe on St. Patrick's Day to have a designated driver or have the number of a taxi or rideshare company on hand, and give car keys to a friend or leave them at home.

Authorities also noted that drugs and medications can also impair people's ability to drive.

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