For many Americans, St. Patrick's Day is a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, many people who choose to celebrate the night out by drinking also choose to get behind the wheel. On St. Patrick's Day 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 37 percent of traffic fatalities across the U.S. involved a drunk driver, and this year, AAA predicts that the risk may be even greater since the holiday falls on a Saturday.
In order to ensure that St. Patrick's Day is a safe and festive holiday this weekend, please observe the following safety tips:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin--designate a sober driver or plan ahead to use public transportation, and leave your car keys at home. (CityBus #18, NightRider, runs late on Purdue's campus on Friday and Saturday nights.)
- If you suspect that someone you see on the road is driving impaired, don't hesitate to call 911.
- If you know someone who is about to drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver, take the keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- Consider avoiding alcohol while you celebrate so that you can be a sober ride for someone who needs one.
- If you are over 21 and choose to drink, don't overdo it. One way to do this is by setting a reasonable limit on how many drinks you plan to have, and stick to it.