As March 17 draws closer, Georgians are finalizing their St. Patrick’s Day celebration plans. For many, this may involve going to restaurants, bars, and parties to celebrate with others. As you make your plans, we hope that you will include a designated driver or taxi service if you plan to consume alcohol during your celebrations. Unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day has brought a dramatic increase in drunk driving fatalities in recent years. In 2013, more than 40 percent of all auto accident fatalities were attributed to drunk drivers on March 17. These numbers are worse between the hours of midnight and 5:59 AM, as that is when most celebrations end and attendees travel home. Between the years of 2009 and 2013, 276 people lost their lives on St. Patrick’s Day due to drunk driving crashes. Not only are drivers choosing to operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol, nearly 75% of those St. Patty’s Day drunk driving fatalities involved drivers who were twice the legal limit. So whether you think you’re ok to drive or not, use extra caution and call a designated driver or car service if you drink at all. It may not only save your life, but the lives of other innocent people on Georgia roadways.
Many people who have caused auto accidents after consuming alcohol claim that they thought they were ok to drive. Alcohol has a different affect on each individual person. Things like body weight, number of drinks per hour, food consumption, and beverage alcohol content can change a person’s BAC in a different way and at a different rate than another person’s. The easiest way to decide whether you should drive is to assume any amount of alcohol consumption is too much. As a driver, there’s no in-between: you’re either sober or you aren’t. It is your responsibility as an adult to make responsible decisions and keep Georgia roadways safe. If your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations leave you unexpectedly intoxicated, use the new SaferRide app to find a car service to take you home.
At Jones & Swanson, we are fervent advocates of anti-drunk driving campaigns. Our attorneys and staff members have witnessed first-hand what drunk driving auto accidents can do to innocent victims. Attorneys Andrew Jones and Chase Swanson have represented victims and family members who lost loved ones in crashes in which a drunk driver was at fault. You don’t want to be on the other side of that personal injury or wrongful death claim. This St. Patrick’s Day, a sober driver is your luckiest charm.