Police plan St. Patrick's day DUI sweeps

Modesto police will be out looking for drunken drivers at a sobriety checkpoint tonight at an undisclosed location within the city in an effort to keep the streets safe on St. Patrick's Day. Officers also will be looking for drivers without valid licenses at the checkpoint.

Modesto police will deploy roving saturation patrols, which are officers looking for drunken drivers.

Tonight's enforcement effort, funded by a state Office of Traffic Safety grant, is aimed at reducing injuries and deaths caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Nationwide on St. Patrick's Day 2008, 37 percent of drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood-alcohol content at or above the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"Whether you are meeting a few friends at the local pub after work or attending one of the downtown holiday events, if you plan on drinking alcohol, don't drive," said Modesto police Lt. Scott Blom.