Celebrating St. Patrick's Day? Do so responsibly
St. Patrick's Day is a popular time to celebrate with family, friends and a bit of green spirits, but impaired drivers also have made this festive night out dangerous for themselves and others, cautions ITD.
That's why the transportation department reminds all of those whose holiday celebrations include alcohol to drink responsibly and arrange for alternative transportation. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be out in force to catch and arrest impaired drivers.
Last year on St. Patrick's Day, nearly half (44 percent) of the 105 drivers and motorcyclists involved in the nation's fatal crashes had a blood alcohol count (BAC) above legal limits.
"St. Patrick's Day is a big night out for many Americans - especially young adults," said Kevin Bechen with ITD's Office of Highway Operations and Safety. "If you choose to drink, don't drive. Plan a safe way home before any festivities begin."
For a safer St. Patrick's Day, Bechen offers a few simple reminders:
"Driving any vehicle - including a motorcycle - when 'buzzed' or drunk is wrong and not worth the risk," Bechen said. "Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving are significant."
Violators face jail time, loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, unpaid time away from work and many other expenses, he said.