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NC Police Are Stepping Up DWI Enforcement For St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day, which means a lot of celebrating all across North Carolina. We're all a bit Irish today and people will be wearing green, watching parades, and most importantly, heading out for drinks at our favorite bars.

But today is also a big day for police all throughout the state. St. Patrick's Day always brings an increase in drunk-driving accidents and DWI arrests. During last year's celebration North Carolina police reported 154 alcohol-related crashes, 12 injuries and 4 fatalities.

Just like with Christmas and New Year's Eve, police are stepping up DUI enforcement this week. The Governor's Highway Safety Program has already started their "Booze It & Lose It" campaign. Tonight St. Patrick's Day celebrators will notice more police on the roads as well as DWI checkpoints statewide.

So how are drinkers supposed to have fun tonight? That's easy: just find an alternative to driving yourself home. Many cities are offering some form of free transportation tonight, usually involving city buses. If that's not an option for you, cabs are a good way to go. The cost of paying for a ride home is much cheaper than the costs of DWI penalties.

You can also designate a sober friend to drive tonight. That way you make sure that your whole group arrives home safely and incident-free.

The best approach to having a good night is to plan ahead. Make arrangements before you leave for the bars to make sure that you know exactly how you'll be getting home. St. Patrick's Day is a great excuse to enjoy a night out, but it's important to be safe and smart. With the Booze It & Lose It campaign in full swing, don't take the risk. Find a safe alternative to driving and have a happy St. Patrick's Day.

Source: JDNews.com, "Authorities: Don't drink and drive while celebrating St. Patrick's Day," 11 March 2011

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