It’s that time of year again when we celebrate the Emerald Isle and all things green. St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend, and for many that means going out and enjoying the parades, parties and, of course, Irish beer. But, if you’re planning to partake in the festivities, be sure to plan for the safety of yourself and others first.
While for many St. Patrick’s Day means the opportunity for one big party, the reality is that it’s also the busiest time of year for DUI arrests and DUI related accidents. All across the country, prevention and enforcement programs are being employed to keep our roads and lives safe. There will be more roving police patrols out and checkpoints set up at various spots to catch potentially dangerous drivers.
So, enjoy this festive holiday, but make safety a priority, and make the smart choice to use a designated driver if you’re drinking. Here are just a few simple safety tips we hope you’ll keep in mind to ensure you’re not relying on luck to have a safe, fun St. Patrick’s Day:
- Plan Ahead – Before going out drinking, have a plan in place for how you’ll get home safely
- Designate a Sober Driver – You’ve heard this all of your life: Never drink and drive! Plan in advance for someone in your group to abstain from alcohol to be the designated driver. Make a point to leave your car keys at home so that there is no temptation. If you’re planning to be the designated driver for your group, commit to staying sober.
- Have a Backup Plan – If you don’t have or can’t find a designated driver, make other arrangements before you even go out. If available, use public transportation. Call a taxi service or look into your community’s sober ride program. If transportation still isn’t an option at the end of your night, look into some lodging options that will be within walking distance of your party destination, including hotels or a friend or family member’s place.
- Stay Aware – Stay alert to others’ impairments, and keep an eye on your friends. Make sure they stay within their limits. If you know someone who is about to attempt to drive while drunk, take their keys immediately, and help them make other arrangements for getting home.
- Stay Alert on the Road – If you’re the designated driver, drive extra defensively. Remember, this is the busiest time of year for DUIs, so there will be impaired drivers on the road all around you. Make sure everyone in your car has their seatbelt on at all times. You should also keep an extra eye out for pedestrians; they’ll likely be impaired walking near roadways as well.
Above all else, use your best judgement, look out for one another, and stay safe while celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day.