What are you doing during -- or post -- Mardi Gras? Driving? You should try to be careful. Turns out, Louisiana's car accident rates are pretty high during this time of the year.
In 2010, Mardi Gras proved to be relatively dangerous. There were 509 fatal and injury crashes.
It was the highest figure during all holiday seasons. Around 50% of the fatalities were linked to alcohol.
It should be a warning to all drivers. Do not drink and drive. It's dangerous, and can end up hurting you, a loved one, or an innocent stranger.
Not only that, but officials have taken note of the holiday. Officers are stepping up patrols and will increase DWI enforcement throughout the Mardi Gras period, according to The Advertiser.
Authorities will conduct checkpoints and will attempt to remove unsafe drivers from the road.
If you're not sober, you could end up in a lot of serious trouble. Driving under the influence is breaking the law. First-time offenders could end up paying up to $1,000 in fines. They may even be sentenced to jail. Repeat offenders can face even more serious punishments.
So what should you do if you do plan on drinking during Mardi Gras? For one, do not drive. Instead, make sure you have the phone number of some taxi companies on hand. Or, institute a designated driver system with your friends. Public transportation could also be an option.
And of course, if you do drink try to do so in moderation. Even if you aren't planning on driving, drinking too heavily can impair your judgment and can make you more susceptible to injuries if you trip or fall.
Don't make bad decisions this Mardi Gras. Driving under the influence is never a good idea.