One of America’s favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day, is March 17, and we continually see a spike in drunk-driving crashes on this date every year. In order to make Iowa roads safer all across the state, drivers will notice heightened traffic enforcement March 14-17. Law enforcement officers will especially be watching for drunk drivers and vehicle occupants not wearing a seat belt.
Nationally,, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2016 St. Patrick’s holiday (the latest year numbers are available) 39 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. In the hours between midnight and 6 a.m. on March 18, 69 percent of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.
Drunk driving is preventable. It is not worth the risk of injury, jail time, your death or the death of another person. No designated driver? Download the NHTSA app, “SaferRide” before going out to celebrate. The app will allow users to call a taxi or designated friend for a ride home by just identifying their location.
For Android devices, from Google Play store, go to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide
For Apple devices, from iTunes, go to https://itunes.apple.com/usapp/saferride/id950774008?mt=8
Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau reminds you – “Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Don’t do it!”