Designate a Sober Driver This St. Patrick’s Day

porter-county-substance-abuse-councilSt. Patrick's Day is March 17, and the Porter County Drunk Driving Task Force is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 269 people have been senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. Those fatalities were preventable.

“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it. If you know you’re going to drink—whether with friends at a pub or attending local events—designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” said Mike Grennes, Chair of the Drunk Driving Task Force. “There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

According to NHTSA in 2011, on average, one person was killed every 53 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in the United States. Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08.

To prevent these tragedies from occurring, Mike Grennes recommends the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.

Before drinking, 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 to get home safely.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police. You could save a life.

Dedicated to working towards a drug-free Porter County, the Substance Abuse Council is a coalition of treatment facilities, education providers, members of the justice community and concerned citizens. A member of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana, the Council has been providing funding to community resources for twenty-five years.

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