With St. Patrick’s Day parades, parties and other events scheduled for this weekend, Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, reminds everyone to celebrate safely and drive sober.

Colonel Manni said additional troopers will be on patrol throughout the weekend to aggressively enforce all motor vehicle laws, and they will arrest anyone found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“The number of traffic-related deaths historically spikes on St. Patrick’s Day, so we have added extra patrols to help keep our roadways safe,” Colonel Manni said. “But we can’t do it alone. We need your help, too. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t let family members and friends drive if they’ve been drinking, either. We want everyone to stay safe.”

Colonel Manni noted that there are a variety of safe, convenient choices for getting to and from parades, parties and other events. Consider using public transportation, taxis or ride-sharing services, or designate a sober driver who can get everyone home safely.

He also offered these reminders:

• Don’t drink and drive – and don’t get in a car if the driver has been drinking.
• Buckle up. Seatbelts are your best protection in the event of a crash.
• Stay alert. Watch for motorists who may be driving while distracted or impaired, especially at night or immediately after major events.
• Allow extra time for travel this weekend. With so many parades and community events, roads could be blocked or detoured.

Colonel Manni also encourages people to call 911 if they see any motorist operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous or unsafe manner, especially if the motorist appears to be operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Celebrate responsibly so we can all get home safely,” Colonel Manni said. “We all play a role in keep our roadways safe.”