How Can I Avoid a St. Patrick’s Day Car Accident?
March 8, 2022
In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day has become known as one of the top four drinking holidays, along with New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and July 4.
Besides the requisite green-colored drinks at bars and restaurants, there are parades, ethnic festivals, dance competitions, live music, and pub crawls organized around the holiday. With a pub crawl, it goes without saying that alcohol is a big part of the event, but all the other events are likely to have plenty of alcoholic drinks as well.
It is well established that drinking and driving do not mix well, but chances are good that many of the people attending these events drove to them. That means it is likely they will drive back, or that they will want to do so. For this reason, St. Patrick’s Day has become a day when drunk driving car accidents are common.
Nationally, nearly 40 percent of the fatal car accidents around St. Patrick’s Day, from March 16 at 6:00 p.m. to March 18 at 6:00 a.m., involve a driver with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) above the legal limit of .08. About 75 percent of those drunk drivers in deadly collisions had BACs twice the legal limit or more.
The most critical fact in these tragedies is that drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable, by people not getting behind the wheel after imbibing. For this reason, police everywhere add patrols, organize DUI checkpoints, and are far more likely to pull a driver over for any kind of inconsistent behavior on the road than most other days of the year.
Those who are taking part in special holiday events may well think that they are choosing the least expensive option by driving home. But although a rideshare service, cab, or an overnight stay in a hotel or motel close to the event may all cost money, they are far less expensive than having your driver’s license suspended, being sent to jail, being involved in a collision, and having your auto insurance premium increase significantly.
A Few Steps to Take to Ensure a Safe Celebration
It is wise to take a few minutes to plan out how you are getting home before you leave for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. A few steps you can take:
- Go with a designated driver. Getting a ride with a reliable friend who plans to stay sober and is also headed to the events is a great option. To thank this person for volunteering, offer to help pay for gas, pay their tab, and cover those non-alcoholic drinks. If they do drink, do not get in the car with them.
- Be the designated driver. If you decide to drive the group home, remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving, so it is best to avoid any intoxicating substances. If you do decide to imbibe, have a plan B.
- Have a plan B. All the best plans can fail, and if everyone in the group winds up drinking and getting a rideshare or cab home is not an option, call a friend or family member nearby to get home.
- Arrange a rideshare or cab ride home. Sharing the cost of the ride will reduce the hit to everyone’s wallet.
- Consider public transit. If you are familiar with the public transit system in the area, and you will be picked up and dropped off close to where you need to go, use mass transportation. If it is available, this is often the cheapest way home.
- Take advantage of free services around the holiday. The event you are attending, or the community where the event is held, may offer a shuttle service. These shuttles are often called jolly trolleys around holidays, and they are incorporated into events to help people get around safely. Another possibility is AAA, which offers a free tow service around holidays for the same reason: to get people safely to and from events where intoxicating beverages may have been imbibed. Either one of these services may offset your need to find a ride home.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Help Those Injured by Impaired Drivers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an impaired driver, reach out to the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Our skilled team will investigate the cause of the accident and will help you get the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.