Oakland County steps up police patrols on St. Patrick's Day

700 people killed nationwide on St. Patrick's Day between 2006-2010

Published On: Mar 17 2013 02:06:38 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 17 2013 04:51:23 PM EDT

St. Patrick’s Day is a social occasion where alcohol is served generously, and all too often, people drive after they have too much to drink.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says his officers are increasing patrols and looking for individuals who may be drinking and driving.

Over 65 uniform officers will be patrolling communities in Oakland County alone. "St. Patrick’s Day is a festive time, but too much ‘celebrating’ causes problems," said Bouchard.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during St. Patrick's Day from 2006 through 2010.

The Traffic Improvement Association (TIA) and the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), as part of an impaired driving safety grant, are helping to fund extra patrols in Michigan to help keep citizens safe on the roads.

Bouchard says he knows first-hand what can happen when people drink and get behind the wheel. He once responded to an accident on St. Patrick’s Day where three people were killed.

"It is crucial that individuals know their personal limitations and realize that while alcohol consumption is their own decision, once they get behind the wheel, it becomes a public matter," he said.  

Bouchard wants to remind all drivers to exercise extreme caution when traveling on Sunday. His office has released tips to help spot dangerous drivers that may be on the road.

Signs to watch out for on the road:


What you can do: