The Naperville Police Department is reminding motorists that “buzzed driving is drunk driving” ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. They say designating a sober driver is critical as you plan your celebrations.
National Campaign of Safety
The department is banding together with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving.
“We understand people are looking for a reason to celebrate, and we want our community members to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but we also want to impress upon everyone the importance of safe driving,” said Naperville Police Sgt. Rick Krakow in a press release. “If you’ve been drinking, make the right choice to find a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”
Buzzed Drinking Dangers
Even just one drink can be too many when driving is involved. There is commonly an uptick in DUIs surrounding the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. In sum, during the 2015 to 2019 St. Patrick’s Day holidays, 280 people in our country died in drunk-driving crashes. NHTSA statistics show that during the 2019 St. Patrick holiday weekend more than three out of five fatal crashes involved a drunk driver.
“Drunk drivers are a continuing problem on our nation’s roads, especially around days like St. Patrick’s Day,” said Sgt. Krakow. “People need to know that they can go out for a night of fun and return home safely by ensuring they have a sober driver take them home. Don’t be the reason someone — including yourself — doesn’t get home. Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day become an anniversary of a tragic night.”
Police remind the public it’s important to designate a sober driver whenever you plan to drink, holiday or not. NTHSA statistics show 10,142 people were killed in 2019 due to drunk driving accidents. That’s one person every 52 minutes.
Tips to Remember
Some simple tips to remember:
- Before deciding to drink, make sure you have a clear plan in place for a sober driver to get you home – whether a friend, family member, car service or cab.
- If you are hosting a party, make sure to offer non-alcoholic drinks, and make sure guests leave with a sober driver
- If you notice a drunk driver on the road, pull over and contact police
- Wear your seat belt as the best defense against other drivers who may have been drinking
More information about the Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving campaign is available on the NHTSA website.
If you have a story idea to share, please send us a newstip.