St. Patrick's Day (March 17, 2020) falls on a Tuesday this year. The holiday, including the weekend before, can be celebrated with traditional Irish food and music, parades, and wearing green. However, many people still associate the holiday with celebrations at Irish pubs and bars, drinking Guinness or green beer. Partiers should prepare for getting home safely before heading out. Police will also be preparing for the day with increased DUI enforcement.
East Bay DUI Patrols During St. Patrick's Day
A few days before the actual holiday, San Francisco may host one of the biggest St. Patty's Day parades in California on Saturday, March 14. The parade and festival will have people in costumes, Irish dancing, music, food, and drinks.
In the East Bay, the City of Dublin would normally host their annual festival and celebration on Saturday and Sunday, which annually draws up to 80,000 people to enjoy Irish entertainment, authentic foods, and beverages. Unfortunately, this event has been canceled due to a health concern surrounding the Covid-19. The Sunday morning has the annual Shamrock 5K fun run and walk has been canceled.
However, there will also be a number of formal and informal pub crawls in San Francisco, Oakland, and across the East Bay.
Police, sheriff's deputies, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) often have increased impaired driving patrols on St. Patrick's Day. Maximum enforcement periods may include the Friday through Sunday before and on Tuesday through Wednesday morning of the holiday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced more than $500 million in grants for highway safety in the U.S., including for public information and education campaigns regarding special safe-driving emphasis weeks, like St. Patrick's Day. According to the NHTSA, 73 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Paddy's Day holiday period in 2018. Over that same period, 3 out of 5 crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
Planning ahead can help drivers avoid a possible arrest for impaired driving in California, including:
- Designating a sober driver.
- If drinking, call Lyft or Uber, a taxi, or use public transportation.
- Don't let friends drive drunk.
Sober Rides in the East Bay
The Automobile Association of America (AAA) provides a list of sober/safe ride programs for drivers to avoid driving home impaired. Individuals in Alameda County may be able to get a free cab ride up to $30 fare on St. Patrick's Day from Veteran's Cab, between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.
After a DUI Arrest in the East Bay
If you end up under arrest for a DUI in the East Bay, it is too late to make other plans to get home. However, there are still options for reducing the impact of a DUI or fighting to keep a criminal charge off your record. As soon as possible, contact an experienced East Bay DUI defense attorney. Your lawyer will investigate your arrest, tell you of your options, and challenge your administrative license suspension.
If you or a loved one are arrested for driving under the influence after a Saint Patrick's Day celebration in Alameda or Contra Costa County, call attorney Lynn Gorelick at 510-785-1444 or 925-847-3006.