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Deputies in Cerritos, Artesia on Lookout for St. Pat's Weekend Drunken Drivers

County-wide, the Sheriff's Department is coordinating with other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, to crack down on drunken drivers as part of a DUI task force "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

Deputies patrolling the Cerritos and Artesia area will be on the lookout for impaired drivers during the St. Patrick's Day weekend, a sheriff's lieutenant said Friday afternoon.

"Obviously we're going to be out there with a heightened awareness for inebriated drivers," Lt. Richard Harpham of the Los Angeles County sheriff's Cerritos Station said in a phone interview March 15.

"We don't have any checkpoints scheduled," Harpham said. "But we will be looking for impaired drivers this weekend."

St. Patrick's Day is Sunday March 17.

County-wide, the Sheriff's Department is coordinating with other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, to crack down on drunken drivers as part of a DUI task force "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, sheriff's officials said earlier this week.

"Drunk driving is dangerous, deadly and against the law – and it will not be tolerated in our communities this St. Patrick's Day," Glendora police Chief Rob Castro said. "(W)e are giving fair warning to everyone traveling in Los Angeles County that our law enforcement officers will be out on patrol and if you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested."

Law enforcement agencies will deploy "special roving DUI patrols and checkpoints" at unspecified locations this St. Patrick's Day weekend, which they define as March 15 to March 17, according to the Sheriff's Department.

"Whether you are gathering with friends at the local pub or attending a local special event, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely, or contact your local sober ride program for a ride home," Castro said.

The Avoid the 100 DUI Task Force, which the Sheriff's Department coordinates with, recommends the following 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 by the California Office of Traffic Safety, www.ots.ca.gov, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, www.nhtsa.gov.

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