Keep the Streets Safe this St. Patrick’s Day

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DE Office of Highway Safety

As one of the country’s most popular holidays, St. Patrick’s Day has long celebrated the roots of 34.2 million Americans with Irish ancestry, and many more who just want to partake in the festivities. In Delaware during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in 2015, March 13 – March 15, there were 47 arrests for impaired driving. With more than 50% of all 2015 vehicle deaths in Delaware being impaired driving related, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is encouraging pedestrians and drivers to have a plan if drinking.

OHS is working with Delaware State Police and local law enforcement to setup a checkpoint in the Newport area this Saturday, March 12th to coincide with St. Patrick Day festivities. Drivers are encouraged to keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink: Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

“Whether you are driving or walking, if you will be drinking, make a plan before heading out to the festivities. Understand the dangers of drinking and driving. Buzzed or drunk, you should not drive. Designate a sober driver before you and your friends go out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” says Lisa Flowers from the Office of Highway Safety. “Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to find a sober driver. Remember: Drive Sober. Arrive Alive. Even one drink is dangerous if you are behind the wheel of a car.”

Use this party-planning checklist to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day.

§ PARTY PREPARATION: Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. If you’re walking, wear reflective clothing and always cross at a designated crosswalk.

§ ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. If you’re the designated driver, do not drink. Your friends are relying on you, as are the people with whom you share the road. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and tweet your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #DesignatedDriver.

§ EVERY DAY: First, commit to driving sober today, St. Patrick’s Day, and every day. Second, always keep the number of a taxi company in your phone or in your wallet so you have a backup plan if you find yourself in need of a sober driver. If you’re impaired, don’t let pride get in the way of calling a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Encourage others to commit to driving sober and tweet their support using the hashtag #ArriveAliveDE.

To drink and drive is a crime —you put yourself at risk, as well as others. The consequences are often fatal. If you see a drunk driver on the road contact police when it is safe to do so. You could save a life. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety asks everyone to remember: Drive Sober. Arrive Alive. Follow OHS for regular updates on Facebook – ArriveAliveDE, Twitter – @DEHighwaySafe, and Instagram – @DEHighwaySafe, and www.ohs.delaware.gov.