Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day and millions of Americans will be heading out to their local bar or pub to celebrate the holiday and drink. It is estimated that $245 million will be spent on alcohol.
Every 51 minutes in this country, someone is killed in a drunk driving accident. The majority of the crashes involve drunk drivers with blood alcohol concentration more than twice the legal limit. On St. Patrick’s Day in 2010 (the most recent year statistics are available for), 129 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in the U.S.
Whether you are meeting a few friends at the bar or attending a big St. Patrick’s Day party, these statistics should remind you of one important point: Don’t drive drunk. If you are going out and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, plan ahead and make sure you have established a designated driver. If you don’t have a designated driver, have the number for a local cab company in your wallet so you can call for a ride at the end of the night.
Driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle while impaired is never worth the risk. The consequences are serious and will last a lifetime. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
Drunk driving violators can face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
If you are out on St. Patrick’s Day and you are not drinking, you can do a few things to help keep yourself and others safe.
- If you are driving and see a suspected drunk driver, contact the authorities.
- If you are out at a bar or party and see someone who is drunk getting ready to drive, try and help them find another way home. You could offer to drive them home or call them a cab.
- If a friend is drunk and about to drink and drive, encourage them to find other ways home, even if it means taking away their keys.
Have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day. And may the luck of the Irish be with you.