Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Even if you aren't Irish, you're probably "Irish" today, or at least sportin' some green. At least I am.

St. Patrick's day is another holiday where we Americans INDULGE. We eat corned beef and cabbage, and DRINK. And some of us DRINK and DRINK and DRINK. Everyone celebrates in thier own way.

However, as I'm driving around town today, I can't help but be extra alert. I know people have been at the bar since the sun came up, throwing back beer after beer. And I can't help but wonder if one of those people have gotten behind the wheel of a car, particularly because I have my infant son in mine.

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). That's more than a QUARTER of all traffic fatalities! A pretty sobering statistic if you ask me.

BUT, what's even more sobering, is that Drinking and Driving is completely preventable! If you are partaking this St. Patty's day, plan ahead. Designate a sober driver BEFORE you leave for your event. And always be ready to take alternate transportation, like a bus, taxi, or even a "designated driver" car service. The cost of these services are minimal compared to the cost of a DUI, or the cost of someone's life!

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.

Remember, buzzed driving IS drunk driving. Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and BE SAFE OUT THERE!

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