As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, Frederick Memorial Hospital is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2006 to 2010.
“Whether you are gathering with friends at the local pub or attending a St. Patrick’s Day event in the area, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely, or contact a sober ride program for a safe ride home,” said FMH Injury Risk Prevention Coordinator Nancy Boyd.
According to NHTSA, on average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash in the United States and the majority of these crashes involve drunk drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations of .15 grams per deciliter or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08 g/dL.
To prevent these tragedies from occurring, FMH recommends the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police.
- 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.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.