CARS.COM — St. Patrick's Day is March 17, lasses and lads. For many, it's a day to don some green garb, eat a corned beef sandwich -- and maybe get a weeee bit tipsy drinking green beer. Beyond turning your teeth weird colors, there are far more serious risks to consider.
St. Patrick's Day DUI fatalities are nearly double the daily average with more than 50 in the U.S. Moreover, in 2017, the holiday falls on a Friday, and the instances of drunk driving are already higher on weekends.
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Studies have shown that roughly three quarters of fatal St. Patrick's Day car crashes involve a driver whose blood alcohol content is twice the legal limit of 0.08. A man of average weight will reach the legal BAC limit after three drinks in an hour; for a woman, it's two drinks.
Just because you're under the legal limit doesn't mean you should assume you're "OK to drive." Even one drink can impair a driver's judgment and reaction times.
Here's a plan to get through your St. Patrick's Day celebration.
- If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. Designate a sober driver before the revelry kicks off.
- If you have been drinking, do not drive, even for a short distance. Seriously, you have options: Just call a taxi ... or an Uber ... or a Lyft ... or take public transportation; many cities have ride programs available.
- Look out for others. If you see someone about to drive while impaired, confiscate their keys and help them arrange a safe way home.
- If you see a driver on the road who appears to be intoxicated, pull over to a safe location and notify police. You could be saving someone's life.
After all, what better to toast to this St. Paddy's Day than good health? Sláinte!