Along with New Year’s Eve, March 17th is popular as one of the most alcohol-celebrated days of the year. Americans of all nationalities love St. Patrick’s Day because it give us an excuse to ring in spring with a green beer and friends. Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm highlight a few ways for you to safely enjoy the holiday weekend without needing a lawyer come Monday.
In 2012, one person died every 51 minutes in an alcohol-impaired driving crash. That number spikes around St. Patrick’s Day weekend, as partygoers get behind the wheel to wear green, eat corned beef, drink Irish car bombs, and forget to plan ahead to get home safely. In fact, between 2006 and 2010, two out of every five crash fatalities involved a drunk driver over St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Most local police departments significantly increase the number of DUI check points over the weekend to prevent dangerous drivers from causing harm. Throughout the country, local cab companies or public transportation systems are also teaming up with services like AAA to make sure drinkers do not get behind the wheel. Check out what’s going on in your city to help reduce St. Patrick’s Day DUIs.
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Some people may not understand the actual repercussions of driving under the influence. Not only will your license be suspended, but experts estimate that, between increased insurance premium and legal fees, a DUI can cost about $5,000 or more, just for a first offense. Second or third offenses carry much higher fines, and could result in jail time.
Many states now also require ignition interlock devices even for first time DUIs. This means that, for a period of time, every time you want to start your car you will have to blow into a Breathalyzer to make sure you have not been drinking. These devices are also expensive, costing about $100 for initial installation and between $50 and $100 per month thereafter.
You’ve heard them all before, but it is worth restating. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a safe, happy and enjoyable holiday weekend:
- Before you start drinking, plan a way home. This can be a person, an Uber, a taxi, train, whatever you need to get home safely.
- If you see a drunken driver on the road, do not hesitate to call the police. This could save lives.
- If your friend is about to get behind the wheel and is clearly over the legal limit, take their keys and call them a cab.
- Eat enough during the day and drink a glass of water between drinks. You will thank yourself the next day.
On another note, you do not want to be that guy or girl coming into the office Monday morning smelling of stale alcohol. Everyone can tell. Experts estimate that absenteeism and hung-over employees costs the U.S. economy about $160 billion in worker productivity. Your employer will likely be on the lookout for those employees who still can’t see straight, and they will take note.
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You also don’t want to be known as the guy or girl who gets arrested for trying to steal a bottle of Goose from a bar and smashing it over someone’s head. In 2011, in Hoboken, New Jersey, 34 people were arrested and 136 others were taken to the hospital in an ambulance during the annual St. Patrick’s Parade. The parade was then canceled.
Officials estimate that binge drinking costs the U.S. economy $224 billion per year. This year, let’s try to curb the damage to people and property by taking steps toward a more responsible holiday. It can still be fun, we can all still be Irish for a day, but we don’t have to drive after a long day of Irish car bombs and green Bud Lights.
Should you be injured in an auto accident over the weekend, know that we are here to help you. We have been fighting on behalf of victims injured by other people’s negligence for nearly 30 years, and have the resources and experience to win you compensation for your injuries. Our auto accident attorneys provide free legal consultations to potential clients nationwide.