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St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday, March 17th Have Fun and Stay Safe!

| Gazette, Police Blotter | March 15, 2013

St. Patrick’s day is fast approaching! The fashion statement this weekend is sure to be green T-shirts and socks for the lads and four-leaf clover earrings and green nail polish for the lasses.

There’s a long list of fun things to do in Los Angeles County. You can partake in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which offers a beer garden and wine festival. They’ll have various food choices, including Pink’s Hot Dogs, Sushi and much more! For more information, go online at www.stpattysfest.com.

Here in our hometown of Santa Clarita, there are also various ways for locals to celebrate. Many restaurants have set up special menus and will feature items such as Corned Beef and Cabbage, Lamb Stew and live Irish music. Find locations and festivity information at www.santaclaritaguide.com/StPatricksDay.html.

Now, we wouldn’t be doing our friends and neighbors justice if we didn’t also say that law enforcement officials are sure to be conducting “Avoid DUI” operations designated for St. Patty’s Day festivities all over L.A. County, including SCV. So make sure you haven’t had too many green beers or Bailey’s before getting in your vehicle to drive.

To stop any shenanigans, officers will be observing drivers who pass through checkpoints for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. They will also check for proper licensing.

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Those drivers who are caught behind the wheel while impaired can expect some jail time, suspension of their licenses and increases to their insurance. Also, they may be given fines, fees and DUI classes. Be mindful that these expenses can end up costing $10,000 or more.

There is a national listing of sober/safe ride programs. These programs have arranged for their drivers to take you home in your very own vehicle. In the L.A. County area, the program’s called “My Private Driver” and offers rides 24 hours a day. The phone number is 972-463-7865.

We in Santa Clarita Valley are “lucky” to have our very own program, designated “Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides.” They offer free rides home for teenagers who are not in the condition to drive, and for those who don’t want to ride with an unsafe driver, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday night. Contact them directly at 661-259-6330.

So that you enjoy a safe and “jail-free” Saint Patrick’s Day, the L.A.P.D. recommends you take note of the following tips:

Take phone numbers with you to call a taxi, friend or family member.
Make pre-arrangements to get home safely.
Designate a friend or family member as your sober driver.
Leave your car keys at home. Take public transportation.
Be a caring friend. Take car keys away from someone who is about to drive impaired and help them to get home safely.
And call 911 if you see a possible drunk driver on the road. They could be a danger to yourself and others.

And in our best Irish accent, here is an old Irish blessing for you this St. Patrick’s Day: “Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.”

Robin Sandoval is a California Licensed Bail Bondsman and owner of SCV Bail Bonds. Robin writes blogs and articles to help increase community awareness of the bail industry. If you have questions or want to suggest a topic, email robin@scvbailbonds, visit www.scvbailbonds or call 661-299-2245.

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