Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and while the holiday is typically known for its jubilance and spirit, there’s a much darker side to the festivities lurking in the shadows. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk-driving fatalities spike on St. Paddy’s Day with a reported 276 deaths over the span of 2009-2013. Of those fatalities, over ¾ involved drivers who were at or over twice the legal limit.
In preparation for Saint Patrick’s Day, local and federal agencies are stepping up their game to prevent and dissuade drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk come March 17th. NHSTSA recently released a wave of literature to help partygoers and bystanders to get through the day safely:
- Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely from the party.
- Pedestrians are at risk, too. Pub crawlers: Keep an eye out for cars. Even a sober driver is a risk if you are drinking and walking. Designated drivers: Be on the alert for impaired walkers who may not obey the street signs.
- The rate at which alcohol affects you varies and is often based on factors such as alcohol content, body weight, food consumption, and how fast you drink your alcohol.
Full list can be found at http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/SaintPatricksDay
New York State is also known for its increased anti-DWI actions on Saint Patrick’s Day. Last year, Governor Cuomo announced to continue a major DWI Crackdown on the Irish holiday after the 2013 effort resulted in 184 arrests for DWI and over 11,000 tickets. “Drivers can expect increased road patrols and sobriety checkpoints along roadways throughout the state, as well as a stepped-up effort to ticket distracted drivers using handheld electronic devices,” Cuomo’s office warned.
According to the New York State STOP-DWI Association, a statewide DWI crackdown will be in effect between March 17th- March 20th this year. Cambareri & Brenneck is urging everyone to drink responsibly this Saint Patrick’s day and make sure to coordinate a designated driver. Even for the most well-meaning drivers, a DWI can spring up out of nowhere and completely change their life. If pulled over for a DWI, you still have rights and Cambareri & Brenneck is dedicated to fighting for those rights and ensuring that you have the best possible outcome. Be safe this Saint Patrick’s Day and please do not hesitate to contact us with any DWI-related concerns.