St. Patrick's Day
is Monday, March 17, and the Porter County Drunk Driving Task Force is
reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 269
people have been senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk
drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. Those
fatalities were preventable.
“When you celebrate
St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it,” said Mike Grennes, chair of the
Dunk Driving Task Force. “If you know you’re going to drink--whether with
friends at a pub or attending local events--designate a sober driver ahead
of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely. There’s never an
excuse for driving after drinking.”
According to NHTSA
in 2011, on average, one person was killed every 53 minutes in a
drunk-driving crash in the U.S. Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers
who had blood alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the
legal limit of .08.
To prevent these
tragedies from occurring, Grennes recommended the following steps to have a
safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:
* Before the
festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
* Before drinking,
designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
* If you’re
impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public
transportation to get home safely.
* If you see a
drunk driver on the road, contact local police. You could save a life.