ESCANABA — Area law enforcement are warning those celebrating St. Patricks Day today to not drink and drive.
Lt. John Gudwer at Escanaba Public Safety says they are participating in stepped-up patrol efforts to curb impaired driving.
“If you know you are going out to celebrate, get a friend. Get someone to be a designated driver who you can trust will stay sober, not drink, or call a taxi. Call someone for a ride rather than get behind that wheel because it really does save lives,” he said.
Law enforcement in Delta County are participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative running from March 16 to the March 29 that is funded by the Office of Highway Safety Planning.
Gudwer said the program not only includes green beer but drugged driving as well. He said drugged driving is a growing problem in the area.
“Our department, Escanaba Public Safety, is going to have an extra car on and the focus is going to be on impaired driving — drunk drivers or drugged drivers. It doesn’t matter which one you are, if you’re impaired, we’re looking for you. The drugged driving has definitely increased, Gudwer said.
March 17 has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. In 2016, 621 drunk drivers were arrested during the St. Patrick’s Day period.