Police Offer Free Rides for Intoxicated Drivers

In anticipation of St. Patrick's Day celebrations, the Los Angeles Police Department will be offer free rides home tonight to patrons at more than 300 bars and restaurants who have had too much to drink.

Patrons at any of the participating establishments can call (310) 840-2121 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. for a free ride home in a van.

Budget Rent-A-Car has donated vans, which will be driven by off-duty reserve police officers.

About 300 callers took advantage of the program last year.

Since the inception of the "party wagon" program in 1990, there have been no fatalities caused by alcohol-related accidents in Los Angeles on March 17, authorities said.

The LAPD also will have sobriety checkpoints set up throughout the city tonight in an effort to apprehend motorists who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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