Four leaf clovers, green beer, and shamrock hats are the familiar trappings of one day celebrated across the United States: St. Patrick’s Day! Although St. Patrick’s Day originated in Ireland and was created to honor Saint Patrick, one of the country’s most recognizable patron saints, it has become a favorite holiday stateside and a popular day to go out and enjoy traditional Irish food and drink. Though this holiday is one of the merriest of the year, it has also become dangerous as some partygoers may negligently choose to drink and drive.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37 percent of motor vehicle-related fatalities during St. Patrick’s Day in 2009 involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, which exceeds the legal limit in all states. The NHTSA also reports that there were 103 fatal car crashes on this holiday the same year. In order to help Kentucky residents celebrate this holiday safely, Stopimpaireddriving.org offers these tips to help prevent drunk driving on March 17:
- Before you head out to celebrate, plan a safe way home. Designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home, or have a friend or family member pick you up to get you home safely.
- If no one is able to give you a lift, utilize public transportation or call a cab. Program the number of a taxi company in your cell phone before you leave home.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program for a safe ride home. Visit http://www.drinkinganddriving.org/tools/services.html for more information.
- If you are out on the road and see someone who may be driving drunk, contact law enforcement immediately.
- Lastly, ensure the safety of fellow partygoers; if you see someone is trying to drive after they have been drinking, take their keys and help them make arrangements to get home.
Following these drunk driving prevention tips can help residents across the Bluegrass State celebrate smart and avoid a dangerous accident. A drunk driving crash may still occur, however, if someone carelessly chooses to get behind the wheel after drinking. If you have been injured in a drunk driving collision caused by another person’s negligence, a skilled Louisville personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation to recover from your injuries and hold any at-fault parties legally accountable.