St. Patrick's Day is a yearly Irish celebration held on March 17th. Irish or not, the holiday is heavily celebrated by many across the United States. Parades, festivals, and parties swarm cities, including #Atlanta, where people crowd the streets in their green shirts and shamrock head gear. Although it can be a fun celebration, St. Patrick's Day weekend can also be one of the most dangerous holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, 60 people were killed in crashes due to drunk driving during St. Patrick's Day weekend (March 16 - March 18). Without following these safety tips, getting pinched for not wearing green could be the least of your worries.
If you're going out:
Have a Plan
If you're going out to celebrate with friends, be sure to have a plan to get home before you even leave the house. Either designate a driver or be prepared to take Lyft or Uber.
Book a Hotel Room
To make things easier on yourself, you can book a hotel room that is within walking distance to your celebration.
Even if you're responsible in designating a driver or using rideshare, it's still important to take further precautions while riding in a vehicle. As always, you should use your seat belt. In the event of a crash, this is your best defense.
St. Patrick's Day is one of the most busy days of the year. Whether you are going to a parade, festival, or a bar, take only your necessities. Large crowds creates more risk of theft and greater chance of you losing your belongings. If you don't need it, don't bring it.
If you're going out, you will likely have to walk a few blocks to get to your destination. St. Patrick's Day isn't only dangerous for drivers, but for pedestrians as well. Be sure to watch where you're going and pay attention, even in crosswalks.
If you're hosting a party:
Allow Your Friends To Stay
If you're hosting a party and having friends over, allow them to stay the night so they don't have to worry about driving late at night.
Serve Food + Non-Alcoholic Drinks
To ensure that everyone drinks responsibly, be sure to serve food and have non-alcoholic drink options.
Take The Keys
If your friends are drinking, take their keys. Remember, you can be held liable if someone at your party ends up in a drunk driving accident.
No matter how you celebrate St. Patrick's Day it's necessary to follow certain safety tips to ensure that everyone gets home safely. One of the most important things to remember is that buzzed driving is drunk driving. All too often, people seem to think that because they're only buzzed, they are okay to drive. WRONG! If you have been drinking, you should never get behind the wheel. You aren't only putting yourself in danger, but also your passengers and others on the road. If you are the designated driver, you need to take that role seriously. The holiday is meant to be a fun weekend celebration, but the festivities can be ruined with one wrong decision.
If you've been involved in an accident with a drunk driver or injured as a pedestrian, it is wise to consult the advice of an attorney. Our team at Kaufman Law is prepared to discuss your potential case and determine your next best steps. Contact us today.