Delawareans urged to stay safe during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

STATEWIDE –Across Delaware in 2015, 47 arrests for impaired driving were made during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations occurring March 13-15.

Since more than 50 percent of all vehicle accident fatalities statewide were related to impaired driving in 2015, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is encouraging pedestrians and drivers to have a plan if drinking.

Drivers are encouraged to keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink: Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put one at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

“Whether you are driving or walking, if you will be drinking, make a plan before heading out to the festivities. Understand the dangers of drinking and driving. Buzzed or drunk, you should not drive. Designate a sober driver before you and your friends go out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” says Lisa Flowers from OHS. “Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to find a sober driver. Remember: Drive Sober. Arrive Alive. Even one drink is dangerous if you are behind the wheel of a car.”

Use this party-planning checklist from the OHS to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day:

  • PARTY PREPARATION: Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. If you’re walking, wear reflective clothing and always cross at a designated crosswalk.
  • ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. If you’re the designated driver, do not drink. Your friends are relying on you, as are the people with whom you share the road. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and tweet your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #DesignatedDriver.
  • EVERY DAY: First, commit to driving sober today, St. Patrick’s Day, and every day. Second, always keep the number of a taxi company in your phone or in your wallet so you have a backup plan if you find yourself in need of a sober driver. If you’re impaired, don’t let pride get in the way of calling a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Encourage others to commit to driving sober and tweet their support using the hashtag #ArriveAliveDE.

Drinking and driving is a crime. Drivers doing so put themselves at risk, as well as others, according to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. The consequences can be fatal.

Anyone can contact police should a driver  be seen operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety asks everyone to remember: Drive Sober. Arrive Alive.

Follow OHS for regular updates on Facebook – ArriveAliveDE, Twitter – @DEHighwaySafe, and Instagram – @DEHighwaySafe, and www.ohs.delaware.gov.

The Milford Chronicle is proud to deliver news to the Greater Milford Community. Follow @ChronicleNews37 on Twitter.

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