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St. Patrick's day safety tips

How to stay safe and prevent car accidents on one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year

Staying safe isn’t about luck, even on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s about being prepared and knowing ahead of time what you need to do to avoid drinking and driving and car accidents.

St. Patrick’s Day is no longer about celebrating with friends and family. It has turned into one of the biggest drinking days of the entire year, where people wearing green guzzle down green beer and some bars open very early in the morning. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on Saturday, so we can expect a lot more people drinking all day and getting behind the wheel to drive.

Last year in Michigan on St. Pat’s, two people died in alcohol-related car accidents and 101 people were arrested for drunk driving (having a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher). A whopping 34 of those arrests were at the “drunker driving” level of .17 or higher, according to the Michigan State Police.

Nationwide, there were 103 crash fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day, according to statistics from 2009 (the latest available). Of those fatalities, 37 percent involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

Sadly, we can expect more people to die and to be injured in car accidents this year than last, with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a weekend.

To help prevent further deaths, drunk driving car accidents and arrests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has provided the following tips for St. Patrick’s Day safety:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin and designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
  • And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Steve Gursten is an injury lawyer and head of Michigan Auto Law. He is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve frequently writes and speaks about drivers safety and is available for comment.

– Art courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Related information to protect yourself:

Michigan drunk driving and fatal car accident statistics

Michigan drunk driving law targets “drunker” drivers

What to do after a car accident

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our Michigan injury lawyers.

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