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For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular night out for drinking and celebrating with friends and family. Unfortunately, some of these people might also be driving home from their festivities and therefore, the night out has also become potentially dangerous.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2009, 37 percent of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, according to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Whether you are going to a friends house, a parade or the bar remember to:
• Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you leave for your event.
• Be ready to take alternate transportation such as a bus or taxi. Have the phone number of a taxi service stored in your phone before you leave for the party.
Even if you will not be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, keep in mind that in 2009, 1,119 occupants of other vehicles were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers, so pay attention to others on the road. And remember, you don’t have to be “falling down drunk” to be too impaired to drive safely. Even a few drinks can impair driving…and a buzzed driving crash has the same consequences as a drunk driving crash.
NHTSA needs your help in keeping the roads safe for everyone this St. Patrick’s Day by spreading the word that buzzed driving IS drunk driving.
For more information or to help spread the word follow Buzzed Driving on Facebook and Twitter.
Remember: Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving. Don’t rely on dumb luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Plan ahead and ask your loved ones to do the same.
Here are some interesting facts I found out about St. Patrick’s Day
- The real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish! He was born in Britain around 390A.D. to an aristocratic Christian family.
- St. Patrick’s Day not become a national holiday in Ireland in 1903 and the first parade wasn’t held in Dublin until 1933
- An estimated 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day 2010, according to a Guinness spokesman
- There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland (36 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry in 2008; population of Ireland was 4.4 million at the time)
- According to St. Patrick’s Day lore, Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- St Patrick was said to have proclaimed that everyone should have a drop of the “hard stuff” on his feast day after chastising an innkeeper who served a short measure of whiskey.
- In the custom known as “drowning the shamrock”, the shamrock that has been worn on a lapel or hat is put in the last drink of the evening.
- Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over the past five years, 851 people lost their lives in motor vehicles crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Out of that number, 327 were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
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