Planning on having a blast this St. Patrick’s Day? Better make certain you arrange for a safe and sober ride home if you do because New York police around the state will be out in force.

New York State Police and local municipal police are even teaming up to increase sober driving patrols and operate DUI checkpoints across the state. That means if you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol you are much more likely to get caught. That’s bad news for you, but good news for all the New York defensive drivers who share the road with you.

There is no excuse for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but then again, if you are impaired you might not even realize what you are doing until you smash into a tree or the car in front of you. Even then it might not dawn on you what happened until you sobered up.

Every year drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are involved in thousands of accidents, many of which result in fatalities. Drunk drivers don’t just risk their own lives, passengers in their vehicles are killed, innocent pedestrians and other drivers are also at risk. Just because someone wasn’t smart enough to arrange for a safe and sober ride home after a night of drinking.

Every traffic school graduate understands fully the risks of getting behind the wheel of any automobile after downing a few drinks. But it should be common sense that if you can hardly walk straight you probably can’t drive straight either.

So go out this weekend and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style. Enjoy yourself, have a few drinks with friends and family, and then, when it’s time to go home, hand your keys to a sober friend or call someone else for a ride. It’s the smart thing to do.