Local law enforcement remind residents to celebrate St. Patrick's Day responsibly

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the holiday is the second most dangerous day to be on the road after New Year's Day.
St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day
BAKERSFIELD,CA-  Bakersfield Police and the the Avoid the 18 - Kern County DUI Task Force will have six additional roving DUI patrols this St. Patrick's Day looking to crack down on impaired drivers.

The DUI patrols are, in addition to regularly scheduled patrol officers.

"We haven't started off our year very well and there's a lot of families that are suffering," said Carla Pearson with Mother's Against Drunk Driving.

At least five people in Kern County have been killed by a suspected DUI driver including a 22-year-old, a mother and her fetus and a 6-month-old this year.

"It's 100% preventable and I have to keep saying that over and over and over again," said Pearson.

Pearson lost her son to a drunk driver in 2002.

Pearson says in 2012, St. Patrick's Day was the second most dangerous time of the year for drunk driving fatalities, just behind New Year's Day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 79 people in the U.S. were killed in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick's Day and the early morning hours of the next day.

BPD will have additional patrol Monday but CHP also reminds the public to report suspected drunk drivers

"If you suspect that somebody is driving under the influence of alcohol or may be their driving is a little erratic maybe not normal. Please call 911. You can get on your cellphone dial 911. Make sure you know your location have some kind of idea of what car you are behind," said CHP Public Information Officer Robert Rodriguez.

"If you think it's okay to choose to drink and drive. If you're going to make that decision any night not just on St. Patrick's Day, when you put that key in that ignition I want you to ask yourself, is this the day you're going to take a life? Is this the day," said Pearson.

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Bakersfield, CA