Avoid a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patricks’ Day is just around the corner, falling on Wednesday, March 17th of this year. But before you and your friends dress up in green-colored outfits and hit the bars for a night out, you must have a safety plan in place.
This is because St. Patrick’s Day is not as lucky as you may think. From 2011 to 215, 252 people died in DUI-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s holiday period, while 60 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in 2016. Needless to say, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can go terribly wrong if partygoers decide to drink and drive.
As such, we encourage you to review some safety tips below to best avoid a St. Paddy’s Day DUI.
- Designate a sober driver: Ask a friend or family member to transport you to and from the party, or have an alternative transportation plan before you go out.
- Use Uber/Lyft: Rideshare companies are popular for a reason. Simply download a trusted rideshare app, such as Uber or Lyft, and request a ride home if you were drinking.
- Do not mix substances: Millions of Americans use prescription medications, but when mixed with alcohol or drugs, the outcome can be impaired judgment, poor coordination, mood swings, drowsiness, dizziness, and more. Many prescribed medications have warning labels that advise against mixing such drugs with other substances or driving after ingesting the medications. But even if you don’t use prescription medications, avoid mixing alcohol with drugs altogether.
- Drive defensively: Decided to stay sober on St. Paddy’s Day? That’s great, but many other drivers aren’t. No matter how safely you drive, you can’t predict other driver’s actions on the road. You don’t know if they’re intoxicated or distracted, therefore, you should expect the worst and drive defensively as such.
- Stay at a friend’s house or book a room: Whether you had a beer or two throughout the night or a full-on bender, it’s in your best interests to stay over at a friend’s house or book a hotel room to maximize your odds of avoiding a DUI, or worse, getting injured or killed. Drunk driving is common on holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, so even if you feel sober at the end of the night, you don’t want to risk getting hurt or killed by an intoxicated driver.
- Don’t let your friends drive drunk: Far too many people think they’re being safe by NOT drinking and driving but often forget to check-in on their friends. As such, take the keys away from your friends who plan on driving after a night out. Even if they argue with you and give you trouble, they will thank you later. Your actions could help save their life.
Signs of a DUI
Police officers are extra vigilant for dangerous drivers on St. Patrick’s Day. As you may know, St. Patrick’s Day is full of beer, food, and fun, but not much luck when it comes to safe driving. That’s why police officers are extra vigilant for dangerous drivers on this particular holiday, looking for indicators such as:
Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position
- Turning with a wide radius
Speed and Braking Problems
- Stopping problems
- Accelerating or decelerating for no reason
- Varying speed
- Slow speed
- Driving in opposing lanes or wrong way on one-way
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
- Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action
- Improper or unsafe lane change
- Illegal or improper turn (too fast, jerky, sharp, etc.)
- Driving on other than the designated roadway
- Appearing to be impaired