The Fairfax County Police remind motorists to designate a driver and plan ahead as they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend.
Capt. Dan Janickey, commander of the McLean District, told the district's citizen advisory committee Thursday night more officers would be on duty on St. Patrick's day because of an increase in the number of alcohol-related incidents around the holiday.
He said officers with an aptitude for identifying drunk drivers are selected to work St. Patrick's Day.
In 2011, Fairfax County Police officers arrested 14 drivers for DWI, and 22 other alcohol-related arrests. In 2010, there were 15 DWI arrests and 12 other alcohol-related arrests that day, Fairfax police said in a press release.
For the past two years, officers have arrested an average of 679 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) during the first quarter of the year. Statewide in 2011, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 28 crashes on St. Patrick’s Day, 15 injuries and one fatality that was alcohol related.
- The police sent along these tips for a safe holiday.
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Designate a driver.
- Report suspected impaired drivers to police.
- If you observe an impaired driver about to get behind the wheel, take their keys and help them make alternate transportation arrangements.
Last tip: If you are arrested and refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test: that's another charge against you, Capt Janickey told the Citizens Advisory Committee to the McLean District.