This weekend, the nation will observe St. Patrick’s Day, an international holiday that is commonly associated with drinking at bars and pubs. To ensure public safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding everyone that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
“Please don’t allow the deadly consequences of alcohol-impaired and drug-impaired driving to ruin the St. Patrick’s Day festivities; make a plan to get home safely,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King.
According to NHTSA fatal-crash data, in 2016, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Paddy’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18).
NHTSA encourages everyone to take the following safety precautions:
- Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
- Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
- Don’t ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
- Always buckle up. It’s your best defense against drunk drivers.
If you’re hosting a party:
- Make sure all 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 ride home.
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.