BPD increasing patrols, holding checkpoint around St. Partick's Day

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield Police announced a DUI and drivers license checkpoint will be conducted on Saturday.

They encourage people celebrating St. Patrick's Day to designate a sober driver.

The checkpoint will be in the greater Bakersfield area.

The checkpoint is an effort to reduce the number of persons injured or killed each year in DUI related collisions, as well as insuring that motorists on city streets are in possession of a valid driver’s license.

A major component of DUI checkpoints is to increase awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to encourage sober designated drivers.

Funding for the checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The public is encouraged to help keep roadways safe by calling 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver.

“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it. If you know you’re going to drink—whether with friends at a pub or attending a party — designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” said Sergeant Bill Ware. “There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

On St. Patrick's Day, there will be increased patrols looking for impaired drivers.

According to NHTSA, in 2011, one person was killed on an average of every 53 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in the United States. Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08.

To prevent these tragedies from occurring, the Bakersfield Police Department recommends the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
  • 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.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, Report Them! Call 9-1-1! You could save a life.
  • And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

The Task Force is funded through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Avoid DUI Task Force will next deploy operations on Cinco de Mayo.

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