Perhaps no holiday is more associated with drinking than St. Patrick’s Day. Pints of Guinness flow from taps nationwide as revelers engage in pub crawls and happy hours.
The carefree nature of the holiday can lead to lapses in judgment and severe consequences. Collisions caused by drunk drivers claimed 31 lives on St. Patrick’s Day in 2013.
Government agencies and safety advocates urge everyone who plans to drink during the annual celebration to designate a sober driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created the SaferRide app to call a taxi. Both Google Play and the iTunes store offer the app. The agency also stressed the importance of wearing a seatbelt at all times.
“A seat belt is still your best defense against drunk drivers,” said Derrell Lyles, a spokesperson for the NHTSA.
Buoyed by federal grants, law enforcement agencies across the nation will increase patrols that evening and host checkpoints specifically for the purpose of arresting drunk drivers.
A DUI can result in a suspended license, higher insurance premiums, having your vehicle impounded and fees of more than $10,000.
The NHTSA offers the following suggestions for anyone hosting a party where alcohol is present:
-Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance.
-Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and keep serving non-alcohol drinks and food.
-Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving after drinking and get them a cab ride home.