Sparks—Preventative efforts are in effect for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday to ensure that Reno-Sparks residents avoid driving under the influence this weekend.
Community organizations, such as the Regional Transportation Commission and AAA Auto Service, are joining forces with Nevada Highway Patrol and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to offer free rides and patrol local hot spots during the celebration.
“With St. Patrick’s Day falling on Saturday this year, we expect larger crowds,” NHP spokesman Chuck Allen said. “People will take time to go out and take in a few extra libations.” NHP will be sending out a few extra troopers to patrol the streets, which is being funded by Nevada Office of Traffic Safety Joining Forces grant program, Allen said.
“We anticipate people are going to go out regardless of the storm. People are still going to go out and enjoy themselves,” WCSO spokesman Armando Avina said. “We just want the public to plan accordingly.”
Party-goers will have a couple options to choose from when obtaining a safe ride home this holiday weekend. One option is use RTC, which is in its ninth year of the Safe Ride program. The program offers free rides on RTC’s Rapid, Connect and Ride busses.
“We do this to promote safe roads for the celebration, encouraging people not to drink and drive and to take advantage of free transit on St. Patrick’s Day,” RTC spokesman Michael Moreno said. The busses will begin giving free rides at 4 p.m. and go until about 2 a.m. In addition, the Sierra Spirit bus will be running past its normal 7 p.m. schedule and offering free rides until midnight.
Celebrators will also have the AAA Tipsy Tow at their disposal during the holiday festivities. The Tipsy Tow is a free service, for members and non-members, where an AAA truck will pick you and your vehicle up and provide a one-way trip.
AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is sure to bring out “plenty of celebrating” and said that their service is a great way to avoid driving under the influence and get home safely.
Avina elaborated on one option if someone becomes too highly intoxicated. “You can be booked under civil protective custody until you are under the legal limit. It’s confidential, there’s no booking record. It’s done for your protection because there’s no other way of getting you home,” Avina said.
So this holiday season, take the advice of the NHP and “be proactive and identify a safe and sober driver before you leave your house.”