Today is St. Patrick's Day. Since it falls on a Friday, and there's a whole Saturday conveniently ahead for hangover recovery, tonight has a high chance of being extra festive. Bellingham revelers may love the festivities planned but unfortunately this makes for dangerous roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is emphasizing the importance of safety through their Anti-Drunk Driving Saint Patrick’s Day Safety campaign. Alcohol is an ever-popular means to celebrate the holiday, and with that comes a typical increase in injury-causing and fatal car crashes with drunk drivers. NHTSA reminds partygoers to designate a drunk driver or call a cab instead of driving drunk.
The Facts on St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Crashes
- On the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (March 16-18th) between 2011 and 2015, 252 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers in the U.S.
- In 2015, 30 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s holiday period.
- During after-party hours, between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly a third of crash fatalities involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
No Such Thing as “Okay to Drive”
Remember, there is no such thing as "okay to drive" even if you don't feed drunk. Even one drink can be too many - even if you're not the obvious cause of an accident, if you've got alcohol in your system when someone hits you, your car accident claim will be affected.
There are so many convenient ways to avoid driving drunk. Designate a driver. Call a cab. Use a ridesharing app, such as NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store. Or, just stay home. I can think of many things I'd rather do than risk killing myself or someone else because I decided to drive drunk.