SARATOGA COUNTY, NY— Although Irish in its roots, St. Patrick’s Day is most widely celebrated in the United States. To help keep your community’s streets safe, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving. If your plans for the holiday include alcohol, make sure you plan for a sober driver. Help us spread the message that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
“If you’ve been drinking, plan to have a sober driver get you and your friends home safely. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving,” said Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen.
According to NHTSA, 11,654 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2020. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2016 to 2020 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020. This is why the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the festivities, help us spread the word: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest times on our nation’s roads. During the 2016-2020 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 287 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes. In 2020 alone, 37 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18). Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly; lack of attention to surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
“Drunk and drug-impaired drivers are a continuing problem in Saratoga County, especially around days like St. Patrick’s Day,” said District Attorney Heggen. “Don’t be the reason someone — including yourself — doesn’t get home to your loved ones. Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day become an anniversary of a tragic night.”
Party with a Plan
Before ever heading out, it’s vital to plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking or not. Follow these ideas to ensure you and your fellow partygoers stay safe.
- Plan ahead: If you wait until you’ve been drinking to make a smart decision, you might not. Before you have one drink, designate a sober driver who won’t be drinking.
- You have options: designate a sober driver, call a taxi, or use a rideshare service. Getting home safely is always worth it.
- If it’s your turn to be the designated driver, take your job seriously and don’t drink.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office or the New York State Police.
Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and let a sober driver get your friend home safely.