Police Out in Full Force for St. Patrick's Day Weekend - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police Out in Full Force for St. Patrick's Day Weekend

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SALISBURY, Md. (WBOC)- St. Patrick's Day is on Monday, but some people will begin celebrating the holiday this weekend. But don't count on luck to get you home safely if you'll be drinking. That's the message from local police who, along with state troopers, will step up saturation patrols across Delmarva.

Maryland and Delaware State Police will conduct saturated patrols and check points in each county along major roads and near busy bar and restaurant locations.

Officers say they know from experience that St. Patrick's Day celebrations increase the number of drunken driving crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 269 people have been senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick's Day holiday from 2007 to 2011.

In Maryland, a first offense for driving under the influence could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a sentence of up to one year in jail. In addition, the violation would mean 12 points on the offender's driver's license and a license revocation for six months. Driver's licenses are confiscated by police from those refusing to take a blood alcohol test and from those whose test result is .08 or higher.

Those convicted of a first time DUI offense in Delaware can expect to lose their driver's license for up to one year, attend an 8-week DUI treatment class and pay more than $6,000 in court, treatment, DMV, and lawyer's fees. Subsequent DUI convictions include mandatory jail time and higher fines.

In Delaware, DUI saturation patrols will be conducted by police in Clayton, Dover, Felton, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Middletown, Milford, Millsboro, New Castle County, Newark, Newport, Seaford, Smyrna and by Delaware State Police.

Those planning to drink alcoholic beverages are urged to make plans to get home safely before they begin drinking. Options include arranging for a sober driver, to whom you gave your keys, to drive you home; use a taxi; call a friend or family member to pick you up; or use public transportation.

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