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March 11, 2011
Drink, drive and learn at Infineon Raceway

By Debbie Arrington

Drinking and driving on St. Patrick's Day? Infineon Raceway will offer that opportunity, under the watchful eye of the California Highway Patrol.

Next Thursday, the Sonoma racetrack will play host to its second annual St. Patrick's Day Sobriety Challenge. Local business owners, professionals and Sonoma State University students will participate in a wine and beer tasting before taking driving tests.

With the help of the CHP and Jim Russell Racing Drivers School's Highway Survival Program, participants will learn firsthand how even a small amount of alcohol can affect their ability while driving under the influence.

St. Patrick's Day ranks among the most dangerous on the road due to revelers' alcohol consumption. According to the CHP, five people were killed and 142 people injured in 240 alcohol-involved collisions statewide on St. Patrick's Day in 2009 and 2010.

"Holidays such as St. Patrick's Day are a great opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of drinking and driving, and to emphasize the CHP's ongoing commitment to DUI enforcement," CHP officer Jaret Paulson said while announcing the event. "California has seen a reduction in DUI activities, and we are hopeful that this is a reflection of greater public awareness of the consequences of drinking and driving and the true need for a designated driver."

Infineon's event begins at 10:45 a.m. Thursday at the track at the intersection of Highway 37 and Highway 121 in Sonoma. For details, call (800) 870-RACE.

Call The Bee's Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075.

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