Many of us are gearing up for the upcoming St. Patrick's Day festivities, and for many of us, this will involve drinking. St. Patrick's Day is one of the most popular holidays for drinking. Sadly, this also makes it one of the most dangerous holidays when it comes to drunk driving.
Here's what to expect this St. Patrick's Day and how you can avoid being involved in a crash.
Drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick's Day
According to federal statistics, approximately 249 road deaths occurred across the U.S. on St. Patrick's Day from 2014-2018 (73 happened in 2018 alone). The majority of them happened on March 18, from midnight to 5:59 a.m. — a period when the late-night festivities have come to a close.
About three-quarters of fatal drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick's Day involves drivers with BAC levels more than double the legal limit (which is 0.08 percent). At this level, drivers are noticeably impaired.
Drivers don't have to have a BAC of 0.08 percent to cause a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some slight impairment can begin at around 0.02 percent. Impairment becomes more profound at around 0.05 percent, as drivers experience reduced coordination, impaired judgment, reduced alertness, and some loss of muscle control.
Planning ahead is the key to staying safe
If you plan on celebrating St. Patrick's Day by drinking, it's best to plan for safety ahead of time. Here are some ways to avoid drunk driving crashes:
- Have a sober friend or colleague be the designated driver before celebrating.
- Summon a rideshare or taxi.
- Don't let friends drive drunk. Instead, arrange a safer way for them to get home.
- If you're celebrating at a friend or relative's house, spend the night.
- Celebrate within walking distance.
If you're sober and plan on driving, be sure to buckle up and watch out for drunk drivers. Police will likely be out keeping drunk drivers off the road. Some drunk drivers will still slip under the radar, despite knowing the consequences. If you happen to notice another driver swerving, drifting from their lane, or behaving recklessly, simply pull over and keep your distance.
If you're involved in a crash with a drunk driver, don't hesitate to speak to an experienced car accident attorney. Mike Slocumb Law Firm represents clients across Alabama. We also help injured motorists in the District of Columbia, Baltimore, MD, Jackson, MS, Charleston, WV, and Denver, CO. Contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.