Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day often means letting loose with friends and enjoying a green beer or two. Because of all this celebrating, St. Paddy’s Day can be a dangerous time to be on the road. In 2016, almost 300 motor vehicle accidents occurred in Oklahoma on this holiday alone — resulting in over 450 injuries, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
Keep reading to learn how to make safe driving arrangements for St. Patrick’s Day, whether you plan to enjoy a few adult beverages or not.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Responsibly
Celebrating safely doesn’t have to be difficult. Pace your drinking, and make sure you’re eating plenty of snacks as you drink for a safe trip home. It’s also a good idea to load up on fats and protein before you celebrate to help mitigate the effects of the alcohol.
Most importantly, you should create a travel plan that allows you to celebrate and have fun with a lower risk of being involved in an accident afterwards. Regardless of how much or little you drink, you should never drive after ingesting alcohol.
Use a Ride-Sharing App
Using ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are easy and convenient ways to make sure you get home safe after a night of fun. Make your drive even easier by saving your home address as a saved location in your app and leaving your phone unlocked. This will make it easier for you to request a ride after a few drinks or for someone to request one for you if you’ve had a few too many.
- Find a Designated Driver: If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who’s willing to be a designated driver, give them your keys and don’t pressure them with drinks at the party.
- Map a Route with Public Transportation: Public transportation is an affordable way to get around the city. Plan your route beforehand and make sure you save your fare card or money for a ride in a place you won’t lose it.
- Call a Taxi: While more expensive than a ride-share app, taxi cabs are another convenient way to get home after a night of St. Patrick’s Day drinking. Save the numbers of a few different cab companies in your phone so it’s easy to call one when you’re ready to call it a night.
- Spend the Night: Eliminate traveling home entirely by finding a place to stay for the night in advance where you can sleep off your celebration — such as a friend’s house or hotel.
- Buddy Up: Use the buddy system — find a friend and look out for each other. Hold each other’s keys, don’t let each other drive, and make sure you’re sticking to your safe driving plan.
Be Aware of your BAC The Morning After
Your body processes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. Depending on how much and how late you were drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, you could still be over the legal driving limit when you wake up in the morning.
Not Drinking? Stay Safe
If you are choosing to abstain this St. Patrick’s Day, you should still follow a few simple rules to stay safe.
- Avoid Driving: If you don’t have anywhere to go, stay off the roads if possible, especially if you have children.
- Stay Alert: If you do go out, stay alert for tipsy pedestrians and drunk drivers. You may have to drive more defensively than usual.
- Report Dangerous Drivers: If you see a drunk driver on the road, try to get their license plates and call the police to report them.
- Look Out for Each Other: If you see someone about to drive drunk, interfere. If you can, take their keys and help them get home safely by calling a cab or requesting a ride.
If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, there are things you can do to make sure your guests get home safely.
- Provide Snacks: Make sure there are plenty of foods to snack on so your guests balance their alcohol intake with food.
- Hold the Keys: Take peoples’ keys when they arrive to make sure no one drives when they shouldn’t. If they’re not in a good state to drive, help them call a cab or order a ride share.
- Have Taxi Numbers Handy: If one of your guests needs to call a car, keep a list of taxi services handy, and don’t hesitate to call!
- Be Prepared to Host: Preparing to have a friend or two sleep over is a safe alternative to drunk driving.
Injured by a Drunk Driver in Oklahoma?
No matter how many precautions we take, mistakes, accidents, and tragedies are bound to happen. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver’s negligence, you deserve justice.
At Atkins and Markoff, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers will work hard to help you navigate the legal system in a professional and compassionate way. Please contact Atkins & Markoff today by calling (405) 708-7789 or completing our quick and convenient online contact form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.