Whether you are of Irish heritage or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to enjoy a night out on the town with friends. Unfortunately, the high rate of people who consume alcohol during the celebrations has led to a significant increase in drunk driving accidents and fatalities.
Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state that around one-third of car crash deaths involve drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s Day. Between 2011 and 2015, there have been 242 drunk driving fatalities. From those deaths, 75 percent involve drivers who were two times over the legal limit.
Based on the increased level of danger from drunk driving, law enforcement will be out in full force, patrolling the streets to arrest suspected drunk drivers. Additionally, police will be setting up DUI checkpoints in hopes of deterring intoxicated driving altogether. Since St. Paddy’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, more people will be out on the town, which means more cops as well.
So if you plan on enjoying the holiday, the following are several tips to ensure that you stay away from jail and the hospital:
- Get a DD - If you plan on consuming alcohol that day, ask a friend if he or she can be your designated driving. Choose someone who plans on not drinking and has a valid driver’s license.
- Request a ride from Uber or Lyft - Thanks to modern technology, you are capable of performing a variety of tasks within a small device--including requesting a ride. So if your trusted friend ends up breaking their promise to stay sober, you can rely on a ridesharing service to get you home. However, keep in mind of the high surcharges that day since taking an Uber or Lyft has become one of the most popular as alternative to drunk driver.
- Use public transportation - A cost-effective way to get around is to either catch a bus or train. Just be mindful of the bus or train schedule to plan your night out accordingly.
- Walk - If the area you plan on drinking is within a close distance in your home, just avoid the road entirely by walking. Make sure you do not break any laws while walking, such as disorderly conduct or indecent exposure.
- Hide your keys - Out of sight, out of mind. If you know that you will be tempted to drive with your car keys in your pocket, hand over your keys to a reliable friend who will ensure that you get home safely before returning them.
- Avoid driving at night - According to the NHTSA, motorists involved in fatal accidents were four times more likely to be intoxicated at night compared to the day. Furthermore, drivers already have a hard time seeing in the evenings, which make drunk drivers even more dangerous.
- Celebrate at home - If you want to avoid being exposed to the dangers of drunk drivers altogether, host the festivities at your place or stay in with family. If you end up throwing a party at your place, ensure that your guests have a place to sleep if they are too drunk to drive or their rides home are taken care of.