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Banish Drunk Driving on St. Patrick’s Day

Banish Drunk Driving on St. Patrick’s Day

According to legend, St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland. This St. Patrick’s Day, you can do an even greater service by helping the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration banish drunk driving from our roads.

Drunk driving killed 10,265 people in 2015. During the St. Patrick’s Day holiday alone—it claimed 30 lives. Every year, without fail, roughly one-third of deaths in motor vehicle crashes are due to someone making the selfish and often deadly choice to drink and drive. It happens despite the fact that it is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher—and that an arrest for drunk driving could cost you as much as $10,000 in attorney fees, court costs and other expenses.

These facts make clear that the luck of the Irish won’t get you home unharmed if you get behind the wheel after drinking. So be honest with yourself. If you are attending a party that involves alcohol—even if you don’t plan to drink—your safest plan is to plan not to drive.

With the multitude of safe, convenient choices for getting around these days there’s no excuse to drive after drinking. Whether it’s a taxi, car service, a trusted sober friend or public transportation, there are alternatives. You can also use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend for a ride, which is available for Android and Apple smartphones.

If driving cannot be avoided, ride with a sober driver that you trust. Otherwise, you must commit to staying sober. There’s no such thing as, “Okay to drive.” A single drink or two makes driving more dangerous. You can drink or you can drive. You risk your life, and the lives of others, if you do both.

It’s essential that you make a plan before the party. Alcohol impairs judgment. You cannot make a safe decision if you’ve already been drinking. We can help. Join @NHTSAgov’s Twitter chat on Thursday, March 16, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT using the hash tag #BuzzedDriving. NHTSA experts will be on hand to answer questions and share facts and resources to help you plan ahead.

There is so much to celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day—from leaders of Irish heritage and the industry and commitment of Irish immigrants who helped build America to beautiful gifts of art and music and some of the world’s most celebrated literature. So let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the right way—safely. Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

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