Police in both North Riverside and Riverside will be stepping up patrols March 17-19 – St. Patrick’s Day weekend – to take drunk drivers off the roads.

In addition to looking for alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers, the Riverside and North Riverside police will be stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest.

“Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive,” said Sgt. Jeffrey Miller of the Riverside Police Department. “If you choose to drink, designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely from the party. If you’re planning on driving, don’t drink. The last thing you want is to ride home with a cop.”

If you do not have a designated driver, said North Riverside Deputy Police Chief Deborah Garcia, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.

The St. Patrick’s Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation.