Merced police will be on the lookout for drunken drivers this week, with additional officers patrolling the streets because of St. Patrick's Day, the department announced Monday.
Police say the extra patrols will be on the street from Tuesday, 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Thursday.
Merced police are recommending the following tips to stay safe:
Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely.
There were 134 crash fatalities on St. Patrick's Day 2008, according to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Out of that number, 50 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.