Police, Local Young People Work to Make St. Patrick’s Day a Safer One

Published : Sunday, March 17, 2019 | 4:59 AM

This week, a team of young people from Pasadena’s Day One fanned out to distribute hundreds of table tents and coasters to local bars and restaurants with prevention messaging reminding patrons to drive sober on St. Patrick’s Day.

Day One says it empowers youth to ignite change and focuses much of its efforts on public health.

“Many Pasadena food and drink retailers have been participating in the group’s anti-driving under the influence project for the past two years by hosting prevention messaging on ‘bar holidays,’” Christy Zamani, Day One’s Executive Director, said last Friday.

“Don’t Test Your Luck this St. Patrick’s Day,” the campaign warns. “Local Businesses Remind You to #DriveSober.”

The DUI awareness campaign was rolled out by a coalition of local nonprofits acting under the banner of “Rethinking Alcohol and Drugs,” known as RAD. Day One, Pacific Clinic, Pasadena’s Department of Public Health and four other nonprofits make up the coalition.

Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States, and St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, drunk driving killed 10,000 people in the U.S., and drunk driving deaths were 8% higher than the national rate on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017.

Day One and the other RAD coalition members said those who drink on St. Patrick’s Day should follow five simple steps:

1. Talk about the risks of excessive alcohol use with your teens, friends and family.

2. Only Drive Sober: Designate a non?drinking driver before any celebration, and encourage others to do the same.

3. Take the Keys: Never let friends drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

4. Be a responsible host: Serve water and offer non?alcoholic beverages.

5. Never provide alcohol or other drugs to minors: Keep alcohol away from minors and supervise.

Pasadena police acknowledged Day One’s campaigners.

“DUI prevention and education is a community effort,” said Lieutenant Mark Goodman. “This year we are working with Day One to help get the word out and encourage people to Rethink Alcohol and Other Drugs (RAD).”

Police are ramping up their enforcement efforts, too.

The Pasadena Police Department Traffic Section will have extra officers on patrol from 6:00 p.m. Sunday, March 17 to 2:00 a.m. Monday, March 18 ready to stop and arrest drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“Don’t put yourself in a position where you need to ask whether you are okay to drive,” Goodman said. “If you feel the slightest hint of a buzz, you should not be driving.”

The Pasadena Police Department also wants to remind everyone that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana can all be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

“We all know the dangers about driving impaired,” Lieutenant Goodman said. “Let’s all be responsible and help each other get where we need to go safely. DUI arrests are completely avoidable, and the life you save may be your own.”

blog comments powered by Disqus