Do you have big plans for March 17 this year? Are you planning on hitting the bars or going to a party? Do you plan to drink green beer or maybe something stronger? While St. Patrick’s Day does not have to involve alcohol, in the United States the holiday is often celebrated by drinking. The Department of Transportation has issued a reminder for drivers that St. Patrick’s Day is a prime time for drinking and driving accidents. Drivers are advised to plan ahead to avoid being involved in an accident.
The public is urged to do several things to avoid danger. If you are going to a bar or a party, designate a sober driver or make a transportation plan that does not involve you driving if you might drink. The NHTSA also has a SaferRide app for Android and Apple devices that can help you arrange for safe transportation. People are advised to watch out for their friends. As the PSA suggested, friends don’t let friends drive drunk. If you are driving or riding in a car, wear a seat belt. You should always wear a seat belt in a car. That has nothing to do with March 17th. Seat belts save lives in accidents caused by drunk drivers, distracted drivers and tired drivers, alike.
People coordinating St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can also encourage their guests to arrange for designated drivers. A host who knows which people are designated drivers can make sure not to serve them alcohol. Every party should have non-alcoholic beverages available for those who don’t want to drink. It is also a good idea to serve food anytime you are serving alcohol. Party hosts are also advised to take keys from drunk guests who are thinking of driving home. You should have the number of local cab companies handy and be liberal in calling them for guests who’ve had a few. You can be held legally responsible for damage done by guests you served if they get into a car accident later.
Source: NHTSA Press Release, “Consumer Advisory: This St. Patrick’s Day Designate a Sober Driver,” 13 March 2015