HOUSTON — Research shows St. Patrick’s Day is the third biggest drinking day of the year behind New Year’s Day and Mardi Gras.

So, there’ll be plenty of partying this weekend.

But Harris County law enforcement agencies are hoping for more than luck when it comes to keeping drivers safe.

RELATED: 19 great St. Patrick's Day deals for 2019

“You know, drunk driving is 100 percent preventable,” said Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman. “It’s a choice that you make.”

Herman’s deputies are ramping up patrols this weekend, along with partners across the county.

“They’re looking for probable cause to pull these folks over, whether it be driving in and out of a lane, driving too fast,” said Herman. “But they get their probable cause and they stop these individuals.”

Not only will there be additional patrols out on the roads, Herman said deputies will specifically focus on areas where events may be planned.

“And, you know, you’d be surprised how having high visibility patrol vehicles at these locations will also put folks in check before they actually go in and over-indulge,” said Herman.

Harris County has one of the highest DWI fatality rates in the country.

The last couple of months have included several high-profile crashes.

And nearly 350 people were arrested for allegedly driving drunk over the last big holiday period around New Year’s Eve.

“I know that in 2018, my department alone arrested right around 900 drunk drivers in Precinct 4,” said Herman.

Houston law firm Sutliff & Stout is offering to pay for free rides for those who qualify.

More info can be found here.

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