Each March 17, millions of people around the nation celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Often, their get-togethers include drinking alcoholic beverages such as green beer and specialty cocktails. This puts partygoers at higher risk of getting caught drinking while intoxicated (DWI) or of causing an avoidable car accident.
To protect yourself and those around you this St. Patrick’s Day, keep the following safe driving suggestions in mind.
Avoid Driving if You Have Been Drinking
Perhaps the best way to avoid a St. Patrick’s Day DWI or collision is to let someone else drive if you plan to drink at a bar, restaurant, or private party. You have a couple of options when it comes to letting another person take the wheel:
- Name one person in your group to be the designated driver. Your designated driver should abstain from drinking alcohol all evening to ensure 100 percent sobriety.
- Call a friend or relative if you realize you cannot safely drive home. Maybe you intended to remain sober but ended up having a few drinks. It is always better to ask someone to pick you up than to try to drive home.
- Use a third-party rideshare or taxi service. Third-party services such as Uber and Lyft are terrific resources. You can be sure that plenty of rideshare companies will be happy to transport you on St. Patrick’s Day.
Host a St. Patrick’s Day Party
One way to make certain that you never have to drive on St. Patrick’s Day is to throw a party at your home. That way, you can enjoy drinks without worrying about going anywhere.
Just be sure that your guests act responsibly when it comes to drinking and driving. Be prepared to allow intoxicated people to stay overnight at your house or apartment. Also, never allow any underage guests to drink alcohol.
Steer Clear of Potentially Drunk Drivers
Even if you are sober, other drivers may be intoxicated. Focus your attention on the road and avoid any distractions, such as eating in the car or fiddling with the radio.
Be wary of drivers who are exhibiting suspicious behavior such as not staying within driving lanes, driving too fast or slow, running stop lights or stop signs, or generally driving aggressively. Those drivers could be intoxicated. It is best to slow down or pull over and let a possibly drunk driver pass.
Be Ready to Take Someone Else’s Keys
As the saying goes, friends never let friends drive while intoxicated. It can be challenging to get keys away from someone who has had too much alcohol. However, taking someone’s keys is the right thing to do. Even if the person gets angry, you can feel assured that you may have stopped a fatal crash from happening.
Is a St. Patrick’s Day DWI Serious?
Beyond protecting yourself and others, staying off the roads if you have been drinking during St. Patrick’s Day makes good sense. In New Jersey, being charged with a DWI can come with stiff penalties.
Depending on how many other driving offenses you have had recently, you could end up serving jail time, paying hefty fines, and even having your license revoked. Plus, you will have to attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program and probably need to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, typically at your expense.
Avoid St. Patrick’s Day Car Accidents
Observances such as St. Patrick’s Day should be a time to have fun and make memories, not get involved in car accidents. Plan ahead and give yourself a better chance of looking back on this year’s festivities with fondness.
Of course, if an alleged drunk driver’s negligence leads to a collision that forces you to go to the hospital, lose wages, or experience other injuries and damages, consider talking to a local car accident lawyer.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Clients Involved in Accidents on St. Patrick’s Day
Along with the merriment, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday brings an uptick in drunk driving accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by an impaired driver, reach out to the Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm. Our experienced legal team will be your advocate and fight to secure full and fair compensation. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. With an office in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we assist clients in Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, Woodbury, and across South Jersey.