St. Patrick's Day brings to mind shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and good luck. But no amount of luck can save you from a drunk-driving crash. So whether you’re buzzed or drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t matter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving—drive sober.
The Long Beach Police Department will be deploying roving DUI patrols this St. Patrick’s Day looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. These DUI patrols are, in addition to regularly scheduled patrol officers, all looking for the tell-tale signs of an impaired driver behind the wheel.
In 2013, there were 31 people killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day. During the St. Patty’s Day period from 2009 to 2013, there were 276 drunk-driving fatalities in the United States. Every one of those lives was lost because of bad decisions. Unfortunately, March 17th has become a deadly day in the United States, with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities. We’re not just talking about a little bit too much to drink here; from 2009 to 2013, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day involved drivers who were twice the legal limit.
The Long Beach Police Department offers this advice to partygoers: “Get ahead of the decision this year. If you know you’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol, then figure out a plan ahead of time for how you’ll get home. Don’t wait until you’re too buzzed to decide, and don’t let your friends drive drunk.” Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so if you have anything to drink, count on a sober friend, taxi, or public transportation to drive you home safely. Not drinking? Maybe this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be the saint who drives your friends sober.
Let’s make 2015 different. Use this party-planning checklist to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day:
Funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reminds everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers! Call 9-1-1.’ Stay connected with OTS via: http://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS, http://twitter.com/#!/OTS_CA, www.ots.ca.gov