If you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, please remember historically it is one of the deadliest times to be on the roads. While we don’t want to ruin the celebration, these facts from NHTSA are sobering:
- In 2019 alone, 57 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), accounting for 63% of crash fatalities Nationally during that time.
- Of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes during the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day period, 32% had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above .08%, the legal limit in Maryland for Driving under the Influence (DUI). It is important to note that you can still be cited for impaired driving while remaining under the .08% limit.
All of those deaths were preventable, and with your help, we can ensure that everyone gets home safely.
You’ve likely heard this before, but the best way to ensure that you aren’t tempted to drive impaired is to plan a sober ride in advance of your activities. Designate a sober driver, especially if you plan to make your St. Patrick’s Day festivities a day-long celebration, or make a plan with friends and commit to using a ride-share or public transportation.
Pedestrians should always maintain awareness of the vehicles along their route, but even more so during a time when there is an increased risk of impaired drivers on the road. Ensure that you cross at designated crosswalks and obey traffic signals. Be mindful of the fact that impaired drivers are less likely to notice pedestrians and that their reaction times may be slower. Remember that walking under the influence can also be hazardous, so pair up with a buddy if possible to ensure you both arrive home safely.
Remember that state and local law enforcement will be conducting saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the state to ensure impaired drivers are taken off the road. Be the Driver Who Saves Lives this St. Patrick’s Day and drive sober or plan to ensure a sober ride home.