(Atlanta, GA) – Today, TEAM Georgia partnered with the Georgia State Patrol to remind partygoers to not drink and drive this St. Patrick’s Day during a press conference at Meehan’s Public House at Atlantic Station. Representatives from TEAM Georgia, the Georgia State Patrol, Smyrna Police Department, MADD Georgia, as well as a DUI victim speaker were also on hand to remind the motoring public to find a sober driver when out celebrating during the holiday.
Customarily, Georgia State Troopers and local law enforcement agencies step up patrols and conduct roadchecks on major holidays such as this one. Sergeant First Class (SFC) John Cronin, the Commander of the Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks DUI Taskforce, said “Put safety first. Driving impaired is dangerous and not worth the risk of killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else.” “The risk of being in an alcohol related crash increases at night, and especially during major drinking holidays like St. Patrick’s Day,” he added.
Tragically, March 17 has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m., March 16, to 5:59 a.m., March 18), more than a quarter (28%) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The early hours of March 18 were even worse: between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. In fact, from 2010 to 2014, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had BACs well above the .08 legal limit, with 266 drunk-driving fatalities total. And keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink; walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as a lack of attention and coordination puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.