What was once a religious celebration of the patron saint of Ireland in the early 17th century has now evolved into one of the most popular drinking holidays of the year. But beneath all of the festivities and joy lies a real threat—drunk driving.
St. Paddy’s Day is known for being one of the deadliest holidays in America. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the holiday from 2006 to 2010. Furthermore, 75 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes on St. Paddy’s Day had more than two times over the legal limit.
Law enforcement will heavily patrol the streets and set up checkpoints to ensure the safety of everyone driving that day. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, you can bet there will be more people out on the town, as well as more police officers on the road.
The following are several tips to stop yourself from driving drunk and getting a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day:
- Ensure you have a designated driver – If you are planning to drink on St. Paddy’s Day, make sure you have a trusted friend as your designated driver. Choose someone who is reliable, carries a valid driver’s license, knows where you live, and has emergency contact information.
- Arrange alternative transportation – If you cannot find a designated driver or the driver you chose breaks their promise of not consuming alcohol, you can take advantage of public transportation, such as a taxi or a bus. Additionally, you can request a ride from Uber or Lyft, but be mindful of the surcharges that day.
- Hide your keys – If you do not have your keys, you cannot drive. If you anticipate that you will be tempted to drive while drunk, consider leaving your keys at home or giving them to a trusted friend.
- Eat food and consume alternative drinks – Consuming filling foods while drinking can slow the absorption and effects of alcohol. Furthermore, you can also have plenty of other nonalcoholic drinks, such as water.
- Celebrate at home – The best way to avoid a DUI is to avoid going out at all. Host the festivities at your place this year. To help your party guests avoid drunk driving, they have the option of staying over at your place.
At Rokusek Stein Law, LLC, we are committed to helping you avoid a DUI and loads of regret. We wish everyone a safe and happy St. Paddy’s Day!