Alcohol is a major contributor to fatal car accidents. Roughly one-third of all deadly accidents involve a driver who has had too much to drink. Drunk driving incidents tend to increase during holidays when people celebrate with alcohol. March 17 has become one of the worst days of the year, in terms of the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents it sees. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations often involve drinking. They should also include safety measures designed to address the potential for drinking and driving before it can become a problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 50 percent of the crashes that occur between midnight and 6 a.m. on March 18 involve drunk drivers. The majority of those drunken drivers are well over the legal limit of .08. In fact, roughly three-fourths of them have a blood alcohol concentration that is twice that allowed by law.
Choosing a reliable designated driver is one way to avoid the danger of drunk driving. Short of staying home or avoiding consuming any alcohol yourself, it may be the best way to address the potential danger of impaired driving. If you have access to your car and plan to drink during St. Patrick’s Day, you are courting danger. Selecting a designated driver in advance removes the temptation to drive despite having had an alcoholic beverage or two.
Remember, a designated driver is someone who commits, in advance, to consuming no alcohol. A designated driver is not the person who commits to staying closest to sober. The only acceptable amount of alcohol in a designated driver’s system is none. If you don’t have a designated driver, prepare accordingly. Take a cab to the bar or party and call well in advance to get a cab home. In addition to drunk drivers, holidays often lead to longer wait times for taxis.
Source: Standard Speaker, “St. Patrick’s Day sees uptick in DUI crashes,” by Frank Andruscavage, 15 March 2015