This year, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival falls on Saturday, March 14th. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the street celebration lasts until 10:30 p.m. Not only is St. Patrick’s Day notorious for green beer and other alcoholic beverages, it’s also, not surprisingly, associated with a spike in drunk driving related injury-causing and fatal crashes. As with any Saturday night celebration involving alcohol, partygoers are encouraged to make responsible arrangements to ensure safe rides home. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently getting the word out about their annual St. Patty’s Day DUI Prevention campaign too.
St. Patty’s Day Drunk Driving Facts
- In 2013, two out of every five crash deaths over St. Patrick’s Day weekend involved a drunk driver.
- On St. Patty’s Day weekends from 2009 to 2013, 276 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes.
- In the post-party hours of March 18, 2013, over half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.
- On St. Patrick’s Day in 2013, 31 people died in drunk-driving crashes.
St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Prevention
The best way to prevent drunk driving is to refrain from engaging in it. There is no such thing as ‘okay to drive,’ if you’ve been drinking. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a smooth and safe ride home. If you’re going with a group of friends, designate a driver ahead of time. If you’re going alone or everybody in your group plans on drinking, line up some other form of transportation. Pre-program a cab company’s number into your phone, so you’re not scrambling around for a ride at the end of the night. Whatever you do, don’t get behind the wheel, and keep an eye on your friends too. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.
Increased Law Enforcement
Not only does designating a driver keep roadways safer, it can also keep you out of jail. Law enforcement officers across Wichita Falls and Texoma will be stepping up their efforts to catch drunk drivers, so do yourself a favor and get a safe ride home.
After an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver
After a crash involving a drunk driver, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will be able to stay on top of investigative reports and be your advocate during a difficult time. The team at the Altman Legal Group wishes everybody a safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.