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St. Patrick’s Day and Auto Accidents

For many, St. Patrick’s Day is a day of revelry and celebration.  Unfortunately, the revelry and celebration often centers around heavy alcohol intoxication.  Often, this intoxication begins early in the day and leads to the all too familiar dangers of drunk driving.  In fact, drunk driving crashes increase by more than 25% on St. Patrick’s Day and more than 40% of all traffic fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day involve a drunk driver.

According to, Detroit ranks as the fifth most dangerous city to drive in on St. Patrick’s Day behind only Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix and Chicago.  Due to the earlier nature of drinking, 9pm to midnight is considered the most dangerous time to be on the road due to the highest existence of drunk drivers.  However, the danger does not stop at midnight.  Between midnight and 6am on the night/early next morning of St. Patrick’s Day, over half of all crash fatalities in the United States involved a drunk driver.

Simple Safety Tips for St. Patrick’s Day

By no means should St. Patrick’s Day not be celebrated.  Following some simple safety tips could eliminate or greatly reduce many of the greatest risks associated with this time honored holiday:

  1. Designate a driver.  It is simple.  Don’t ever drink and drive.  Plan in advance for someone you will be with to abstain from alcohol entirely.
  2. Have an alternative plain.  Sometimes your plans change and perhaps you begin drinking more than one or two drinks over the course of a few hours which is certainly more than you expected when you headed out that evening.  Make sure that you have alternative options such as calling a friend, getting a hotel room or utilizing the services of a ride share service.  It would certainly be recommended to download the app for your favorite ride share service before heading out on St. Patrick’s Day……just in case.

Remain Vigilant at All Times

  1. Don’t forget to eat food and drink water.  Do not drink on an empty stomach and stay hydrated.
  2. Never leave your drink unattended.   Also, never accept a drink from a stranger and never accept a drink that has not been opened in front of you.
  3. Keep an eye on your team.  Make sure your friends are staying in control and within their limits.  Make sure that they do not drive home or find them an alternative way home or a hotel room for the night.
  4. You are the designated driver, now what?  Abstain from alcohol.  However, this does not mean that you are out of the woods on the way home.  If St. Patrick’s Day is on the weekend, the likelihood of the existence of drunk drivers on the road with you increases dramatically.  So, drive defensively and make sure that your passengers are wearing their seatbelts.  Also, watch for pedestrians stumbling into the road in crowded urban settings and near bars.  St. Patrick’s Day is also one of the most deadly days of the year for pedestrian deaths.

What to do if You Encounter a Drunk Driver

If you are safely operating your vehicle and you spot another vehicle that is swerving, going far below or above the speed limit, braking erratically, drifting, tailgating, suddenly stopping or delayed in starting, you may be driving near a drunk driver.  First of all, keep your distance.  If you are able to safely do so, call 911 and be able to relate your current location to the 911 operator.  If the local police department is able to do so, they will attempt to get that driver off of the road and give them a ride to jail for the night….or longer.

Perhaps Celebrate at Home as an Alternative

It may be in everyone’s best interest to celebrate at home.  Give your friends and family members  the alternative of either not drinking or drinking and staying the night.

Criminal Repercussions of Drunk Driving

Not only is there a major risk of injury or death due to drunk driving, there are also severe criminal repercussions for drunk driving.  Patrols on St. Patrick’s Day are on high alert for drunk drivers.  If you are arrested for drunk driving you can look forward to time in jail, suspension of your driving privileges and potential loss of your occupation.  It is simply not worth it and it is just too easy to get a ride with all of the ride share opportunities available.

Stay Safe and Don’t Drink and Drive…..Ever

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