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people drinking alcohol at st. patricks day party

How to Avoid a DUI on St. Patrick's Day

As mask mandates for vaccinated individuals and other COVID-19 restrictions are coming to an end after the spread of the omicron variant during the holidays, many people are anxious to enjoy how life was before the pandemic. Perhaps, St. Patrick’s Day 2022 will become a popular day for folks to not only celebrate the Irish heritage, but to also go to bars and restaurants with loved ones for the first time in a long time.

However, since St. Paddy’s Day is associated with drinking a significant amount of green beer and Irish whiskey, it is one of the deadliest times of the year for both drivers and pedestrians in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 280 people were killed in drunk driving accidents during the 2015-2019 St. Patrick’s Day period. A survey by Alcohol.org says that St. Patrick’s Day ranks third for the most consumed drinks during a specific holiday.

Due to the increase of drunk drivers on the road during St. Paddy’s Day and many holidays, police departments throughout the country increase the number of officers on patrol and set up DUI checkpoints to arrest suspected impaired drivers and make the roads safer for others. While the temptation to drink and drive during this holiday can be overwhelming, you do not want to spend time behind bars or put yourself and others in danger.

If you plan on drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, the following are several safety tips to ensure you celebrate the holiday safely:

  • Have a designated driver – If there is someone in your group who does not plan on drinking, ask if he/she can be the designated driver.
  • Request a ride from Uber or Lyft – If you do not have a designated driver, you could always rely on using the Uber or Lyft app to request a ride. Be mindful of surge pricing during the late evenings of holidays and weekends.
  • Use free resources – The American Automobile Association (AAA) offers a free “Tipsy To” service on St. Patrick’s Day and most major holidays. AAA will provide a one-way tow to the driver’s house, so long as it is within 10 miles.
  • Host the party – Rather than risk driving in the first place, why not have a party at your place? Make sure there is plenty of room for your guests to sleep over or the proper ride arrangements are made ahead of time.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Santa Rosa, CA, call the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. at (707) 418-5352 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Our firm has successfully represented thousands of clients facing a wide range of criminal charges!