The middle of March always brings a bit of mayhem into our lives- March Madness begins, spring fever sets in, and even the return of the Shamrock Shake can cause some slight chaos. But one event in particular stands out among the rest, St. Patrick’s Day.
For most Americans, it’s a celebration of all things green, often including parades, parties, corned beef, and green beer.
In addition to the festivities, the reality is that drunk driving is a massive concern during all holidays, St. Patrick’s Day included, and state and local law enforcement agencies take this very seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18) from 2011 through 2015, there were 252 fatal auto accidents involving drunk drivers.
To keep the roads safe, many prevention and enforcement programs are employed across the country, including police patrols and alcohol checkpoints at various spots to catch drunk-driving offenders. Below are some simple steps to help ensure a safe and festive holiday. They include:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Eat. Drinking on an empty stomach is a good way to end your St. Paddy’s day a lot earlier than planned. Make sure to get some nutrients in you to help absorb that alcohol.
- Stay hydrated. Getting enough water will also help keep the party going on longer, and decrease the likelihood you’ll have a March 18th hangover.
- Designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home. If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober.
- Use public transportation, a local taxi service, a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft, or your community’s sober ride program.
- If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other travel arrangements.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call local law enforcement.
St. Patrick’s Day calls for drinks with friends, a heap of green, and a healthy dose of responsibility. With that formula and the above tips, we hope for FUN & SAFE night out for you and your loved ones. Cheers!