St. Patrick's Day Drunk Driving Crackdown in Mountain View this Weekend

Multi-agency 'Avoid the 13' effort to apprehend impaired motorists in the Santa Clara County and beyond continues until midnight Sunday, March 17.

Careful with all that green beer this St. Paddy's Day weekend.

The heavy police crackdown on drunk driving began after midnight Thursday, March 14 and continues until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and Mountain View will participate again in the Avoid the 13 DUI enforcement project.

"There will be additional officers deployed downtown for the St. Paddy's Day weekend," said Sean Thompson, Mountain View Police Department spokesman.

As has become customary, the county has granted funds to the city of Mountain View to increase its police presence and be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers. The additional enforcement also extends to the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Office, and the California Highway Patrol.

The Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force urges motorists to plan a safe ride home and never get behind the wheel drunk or drugged, according to Michelle Sandoval grant project director for Avoid the 13.

A DUI conviction could mean between three and five years of court probation, fines and court fees of up to $1,800, a possible six-month loss of your California driver's license and even jail time.

A DUI could also cost someone their life.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during St. Patrick’s Day holidays from 2006 to 2010. 

On average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash in the United States and the majority of these crashes involve drivers who have a .15 percent blood alcohol content or higher, almost twice legal limit of .08 percent.

"People should drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive," Thompson said.

The Avoid the 13 Task Force recommends the following easy 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.

The Task Force is funded through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Other stories in Mountain View:

  • Pedestrian Killed Crossing Phyllis Avenue Monday
  • Car Strikes Teen Crossing Shoreline Blvd Tuesday
  • Police Descend on Mountain View High Due to Student Prank

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