(WXYZ) — Authorities want you to remember: Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
If you’re heading out to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, make sure you have more than just the luck o’ the Irish on your side.
According to police, these celebrations are one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, and this means more drunk drivers on the roads.
Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States. This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
If you plan to go out and enjoy the evening with alcohol, make sure you refrain from driving. Review these facts and share the word about the dangers of drunk driving so you can continue merry-making for all the St. Paddy’s Days to come.
Check out these statistics:
• St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads. During the 2014-2018 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 249 lives were lost due in drunk-driving crashes. In 2018, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in our country, and every single one of those deaths was preventable. Do your part this St. Patrick’s Day: Arrange for a sober driver to ensure you get home safely.
• In 2018 alone, 73 people (39% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.
• Between midnight and 5:59 a.m. over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period in 2018, more than three out of five (62%) crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
• Walking home from the bar after a night out partying? In 2018, 33% of the pedestrians aged 16 and older killed in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) at or above .08. Arrange for a sober ride or for a sober friend to walk you home.
• Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. It is illegal to drive while drug-impaired, period. It’s essential for drivers to understand: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.
Celebrate with a Plan
Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.
• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact Michigan State Police.
• Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.