How Can I Stay Safe Driving on St. Patrick’s Day?
One of the nation’s favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day often brings festivities and celebrations to Irish and non-Irish folks. It is also one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, which makes the roadways especially dangerous with drunk and irresponsible drivers. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 60 percent of the American population plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, with an average of consuming over four alcohol drinks.
Furthermore, the NHTSA reports that there are almost 30 people killed in a DUI car accident per day. The risk is far greater on St. Patrick’s Day, particularly between the times of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. In 2018, a total of 73 people died in a DUI-related accident during this period on St. Patrick’s Day alone. Pedestrians are not safe either; 2018 saw one-third of pedestrians killed in an accident had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or over the legal limit of .08 percent.
Some more distressing facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
- Between the years of 2013 and 2017, four out of every 10 DUI-related deaths involved people between the ages of 21 and 34.
- In 2018, more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents.
- One in every three St. Patrick’s Day partyers admit to binge drinking.
- Over 75 percent of those involved in a drunk driving-related death had a BAC twice over the legal limit.
- Over half of those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will drink beer, while 20 percent will drink hard liquor; 10 percent will combine both beer and hard liquor.
- Patrick’s Day is the third most popular drinking holiday of the year, behind Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve.
Safety Tips for St. Patrick’s Day
Drinking and driving is never okay, no matter how many drinks you have. Even one drink is enough to cause impairment, lost focus, and drowsiness. The following are some safety tips to help you keep safe on St. Patrick’s Day:
- Plan ahead. Have a designated driver set up for you and your friends before going out to prevent any confusion. If you cannot find a designated driver, use public transportation or a ride-sharing app. Do not walk home; drunk driving accidents can affect pedestrians as well, especially in areas where the bars will be crowded and people will be driving by.
- Do not drive impaired. Drinking and driving is not okay, but so is driving under the influence of other substances. Mixing drugs and alcohol can have dangerous effects and can impair you further than just alcohol. This also includes prescription medications; most drugs warn against mixing with alcohol.
- Be aware. Make sure to eat something if you go out drinking, as drinking on an empty stomach can increase the effects of alcohol on your body. Alcohol dehydrates you, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after the celebrations. Furthermore, do not accept a drink from a stranger, especially if it was already opened for you, and do not leave your drink unattended.
- Buckle up. Never get into a vehicle with a drunk driver or anyone who has been drinking, regardless of how many drinks they had. When you do get in the car, buckling up is a must and could help save your life in the event of an accident.
- Be a responsible host. If you are hosting a party, arrange for your guests to have a designated driver to get home, or arrange another type of transportation. Take their keys if they drive there and offer for them to stay the night if you cannot find them a ride. Serve plenty of food and water to your guests and stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the night to allow people to sober up.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Involved in Drunk Driving Accidents
St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful holiday to celebrate with family and friends, but only when done so responsibly. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving an impaired driver, reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our skilled legal team will thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident and help you get the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we work with clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.