Ah, St. Patrick's day. A day of green clothes, green beer, and lots of DUI arrests.
While we're all for having a good time, driving drunk is foolish from a number of perspectives. You can injure or kill yourself or someone else, and you can wind up charged with a DUI. All in all, the flowing green beer has made St. Patrick's Day one of the most dangerous days to be on the road due to drunk drivers.
Americans seem primed to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Some 52.4% of Americans plan to celebrate, up from 45.2% last year, according to NRF's 2011 St. Patrick's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey.
In 2009, there were 103 crash fatalities in the United States on St. Patrick's Day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to NHTSA, 37% of those accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of 0.08%.
So how do you avoid a St. Patrick's Day DUI? It's easy. Don't drive, duh... Of course, lots of people never imagine they will drive drunk, and then they go out, drink too much and decide to drive because of impaired judgment. The next thing they know, they're in jail and looking for a DUI attorney. So why not look to the NHTSA for advice for how to plan ahead:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- 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 know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.