Area police to step up DUI patrols for St. Patrick's Day

Local police departments plan to deploy additional officers Friday through early Saturday in an effort to quell intoxicated driving over St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach police officers will be on the lookout for alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers in areas where DUI crashes and arrests typically occur in their cities, according to news releases from the departments.

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"St. Patrick's Day has become one of the nation's favorite holidays to celebrate and party," a Newport Beach Police Department release states. "Unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking, making the holiday one of our most dangerous."

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 252 people were killed in the United States in drunk driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick's Day holiday periods from 2011 to 2015.

Funding for additional patrols is provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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