NATIONWIDE— Local law enforcement agencies and national safety leaders are urging people to not press their luck this St. Patrick’s Day.

Their message is simple: Don’t drink and drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said everyone should “drink responsibly” while celebrating the holiday. The administration said while they understand many celebrate by indulging in alcohol, even “one night of drinking can lead to deadly consequences if plans aren’t made to get home safely.”

“Please remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. If you plan to drink this St. Patrick’s Day, plan ahead for a safe way home,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s deputy administrator. 

Between 6 p.m. on March 16 through 5:59 a.m. on March 18 in 2020, 36% of crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. Between 2016 to 2020, 287 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in that timeframe, according to NHTSA.

NHTSA also said there were 11,654 fatalities from drunk-driving crashes in 2020 alone.

Even if you’re walking, doing so while intoxicated can turn deadly. NHTSA said in 2020, 30% of pedestrians killed in traffic incidents had blood alcohol concentrations at or above .08. Even those who are walking on the holiday should arrange for a sober ride or sober walking buddy.

NHTSA issued these reminders for St. Patrick’s Day:


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