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RALEIGH – On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, state officials are reminding people to never drink and drive.

Law enforcement agencies statewide will increase patrols through Sunday to keep impaired drivers off the roads during the St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” enforcement campaign.

“St. Patrick’s Day is well established as a time for celebration, but people should do so responsibly,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking alcohol. Drinking and driving can be deadly. Have a plan to get home safely so you don’t risk seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else.”

During last year’s weeklong St. Patrick’s Day enforcement campaign, 225 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 deaths occurred on North Carolina roads.

“The most tragic thing about these deaths is that all of them could have been prevented and their impacts avoided, if people would just do their parts by planning ahead and ensuring they celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day responsibly,” said Colonel Freddy Johnson, Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Increased enforcement during specific campaign periods year-round is a key part of making North Carolina roads safer.

If you drink and need a ride home, call a friend, take public transit or call a cab. All are better options than getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. For more safe driving tips, visit ncghsp.org or follow NCGHSP on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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