For many, the image of St. Patrick’s Day has come to include copious amounts of alcohol; unfortunately, that means that drunk drivers have made the holiday very dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 269 people were killed by drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s Day over the years 2007-2011, and there were 45 people killed in 2011 alone.
The most tragic thing about these fatalities is that they were 100 percent preventable. Whether you are hanging out with friends at a pub after work or attending a local parade, make sure to also plan ahead with a non-drinking designated driver if your plans include alcohol.
The holiday falls on Monday, March 17, but many people will likely take to celebrating the holiday early.
There are several tips that people can keep in mind to enjoy a safe St. Patrick’s Day without putting the lives of themselves or others in jeopardy. First, plan a safe way home before the festivities begin. Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys. If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely. If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement, and if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.