San Ramon police are urging residents who plan to imbibe on St. Patrick's Day and through the weekend to have a plan to get home safely.
St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays for drunk-driving fatalities, with 266 reported nationwide from 2010-14, according to San Ramon police.
Extra San Ramon police and Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputies will be on the roads Thursday through this weekend, and many will be targeting areas with high numbers of past DUI crashes and arrests, the department stated in a news release. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol intoxication on the roads.
Police said while it's great to enjoy the celebrations, residents should designate a sober driver or plan to call a taxi or ride-hailing service once they're ready to hit the road. Even buzzed driving would result in a drunk-driving arrest, police stated.
Police will also be keeping an eye out for drunk pedestrians since they may be in greater danger of being hit by a car.
"So whether you've indulged a little or a lot, law enforcement wants to remind everyone to drink and drive is a crime -- you put yourself at risk, as well as others," San Ramon police said the statement. "The consequences are often fatal."
In order to have a safe time, police advise to find the name and number of several taxi companies and program them in your phone before going out to party, or if you prefer ride-hailing service, download the Uber, Lyft or Curb app ahead of time.
The California Office of Traffic Safety's DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) app also connects designated drivers with bars that will provide perks like discounts or free non-alcoholic beverages to the DD. The state set up the app to celebrate the designated drivers as VIPs -- "very important party-goers" -- for keeping everyone safe, San Ramon police noted.