March 12, 2010 13:00 ET

Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk This St. Patrick's Day

Don't Depend on Dumb Luck -- Designate a Sober Driver Before the Party Begins

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - March 12, 2010) - For many Americans, St. Patrick's Day* has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, due to the large number of drunk drivers, the night out has also become very dangerous.

On St. Patrick's Day 2008, 37 percent of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, according to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Whether you are meeting a few friends at the local pub after work or attending a St. Patrick's Day party, if you plan on using alcohol, never drive while impaired -- and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk.

Additional NHTSA statistics show that in 2008, there were 134 crash fatalities on St. Patrick's Day. Out of that number, 50 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Follow these easy steps for a safe St. Patrick's Day:

--  Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
--  Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and leave your car
    keys at home;
--  If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member,
    or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
--  Use your community's Sober Rides program;
--  If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to
    call 911 or contact your local law enforcement;
--  And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while
    impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get
    to where they are going safely.

Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant. Don't depend on dumb luck this St. Patrick's Day. Designate your sober driver before the party begins.

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Contact Information

    Ginny Vineyard