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.