TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Thirty people were killed in auto crashes related to drunk driving in the U.S. during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period in 2015.

Gavel, Alcoholic Drink & Car Keys on a Gradated Background - Drinking and Driving Concept.
Andy Dean/ThinkStock

More than 250 people died in similar crashes during St. Paddy’s holiday period in the five years from 2011 to 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“More than a fourth of them were killed in drunk-driving crashes that occurred in the early morning, post-party hours after midnight,” according to a news release about an upcoming campaign to curb the number of impaired driving crashes.

Impaired driving causes tragedies all year round. According to NHTSA, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, and 10,265 (29 percent) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

In an effort to make the highways safer this St. Patrick’s Day, the NHTSA, Idaho Transportation Department and law enforcement agencies are teaming up with extra patrols from March 10-17.

If you plan to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, ITD remind drivers to follow these tips to stay safe:

Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.

If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested for a DUI.

If you have been drinking, call a taxi or sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

Also, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which helps users call a taxi or a friend for a ride home and identify their location so they can be picked up.

Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

Help those around you be responsible, too. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel and help them find a sober ride home.

If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, call the police. Your actions could help save a life.

If you drink and drive, it’s not just your life you’re putting at risk. The groups remind drivers that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”


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