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St. Patrick’s Day is one of deadliest days of the year

| March 14, 2015

COSHOCTON – St. Patrick’s Day brings to mind shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and good luck. But no amount of luck can save you from a drunk-driving crash. Unfortunately, March 17 has become a deadly day in the United States, with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 276 people died in drunken driving crashes over St. Patrick’s Day weekends from 2009 to 2013. The hours after the party are the most dangerous — between midnight and 5:59 a.m. on March 18, 2013, 55 percent of crash fatalities involved drunken drivers. Three out of four drunken driving fatalities occurred with drivers who had blood-alcohol levels at more than double the legal limit.

Christy Mosier, Coshocton County Safe Communities Coordinator, says that if you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol, a sober driver will be your luckiest charm. Mosier adds, “If you wait until you’ve been drinking alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day to decide how you’ll get home, you’re not OK to drive.”  The Safe Communities Coalition offers these life saving tips:

– Even if you’ve only had a couple of drinks, you may be impaired and shouldn’t drive.

– If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member.

– If you know someone who is about to drive drunk or ride with someone who is impaired, help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. If a friend is drunk and wants to drive, take the keys away. Don’t worry about offending someone – they’ll thank you later.

If you are not drinking?  Maybe this St. Patrick’s Day, you can be the sober saint that drives your friends home safely.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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