Should You Drink and Drive on St. Patrick’s Day? Probably Not the Best Idea
In America, Saint Patrick's Day is usually celebrated by drinking. If this is done safely and legally, the holiday can be an enjoyable event that brings friends together. Problems arise when people decide to take actions they should avoid, like drinking and driving.
Despite safety campaigns, drunk driving still a commonplace problem
Scram Systems, provider of monitoring systems like those used to keep repeat drunk driving offenders off the road, published an infographic last year that pointed out some of the known issues surrounding Saint Patrick's Day and drunk driving. They pulled data from several sources, some of which focused on 2012-2016.
In that window, specifically, 38 percent of all drivers killed in the United States on St. Patrick's Day had a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than .08 percent, the limit Illinois defines as drunk driving. In fact, 38 percent of pedestrians killed had at least a .08 BAC, and 75 percent of all drunk driving accidents on St. Patrick's Day involved drivers with a BAC at least twice that high.
These numbers added up to 269 drunk driving deaths on Saint Patrick's Day between 2012-2016. Of course, the danger does not end when the calendar switches over. From midnight - 6 a.m. on March 18, approximately 69 percent of all crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
This may be influenced by the 29 percent of American adults surveyed who said they planned to celebrate at a party in a bar or restaurant. This requires them to get home after they are done partying, and for those who have not established a safe way home this may mean driving themselves or walking.
No excuse for drunk driving
There is no good excuse for making such a decision. With Saint Patrick's Day ranking as the fourth highest drinking day of the year, our society is prepared to provide accommodations as much as it can. Last year, services like Uber and Lyft offered discounted or free rides for the holiday and may soon announce a similar deal for this year. Cabs in Chicago will be out in force, as well, and proper planning can ensure you have a designated driver in your party. Our city also has an extensive system of public transportation that will be prepared for publicized bar crawls.
The fact is, when people choose to endanger everyone else by hitting the road after drinking, they are making a choice that is not only illegal but easily avoidable. These drivers must be held accountable, especially when they cause injury or death. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, we are prepared to fight on your behalf for the justice you deserve.
Contact us today to see what we can do for you.