2016 was one of the worst years for drunk driving fatalities. On average, there were 28 deaths every day caused by DUI accidents. 1 in 3 accidents involved an impaired driver. 1,440 people are injured in a car crash involving a drunk driver every day. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, these drunk driving car accidents are set to increase as people are out on the town celebrating.
A History of St. Patrick’s Day and Alcohol
Saint Patrick is one of the most recognizable patron saints of Ireland even though he is not technically Irish. He was born in Great Britain and brought to Ireland originally as a slave. After escaping slavery, he became a cleric, though he always knew he would return to Ireland. Upon his return, he brought Christianity to the people of Ireland. The myth is he drove all the snakes away from Ireland; however, this story is false as icy waters surrounding the country had prevented snakes from entering the land in the first place. Although, Saint Patrick did end paganism by bringing Christianity to Ireland, which often uses a serpent as the symbol. Therefore, Saint Patrick symbolically exterminated the snakes from Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day began as a tradition celebrating Saint Patrick on the anniversary of his death. Christians are allowed to put aside their Lenten restrictions on food and alcohol intake on this day. Thus, why excessive drinking has become linked to the celebration. St. Patrick’s Day later progressed to being a celebration of the Irish culture. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the U.S. and grew in popularity as many Irish immigrants came to escape the potato famine.
Consequences of Drunk Driving in New York State
If your blood alcohol level is above 0.08% and you obtain a DWI, there are severe consequences. Your punishment depends on a variety of factors such as your age, whether the substance impairing you is alcohol or drugs, your driver’s license type, and whether you submitted to a chemical test. If you are over 21, and this is your first offense, you could face punishments such as:
- License suspension for 90 days
- A fine ranging from $300-$500
- Up to 15 days in jail
- Enrollment in the New York Driving Program
If this is your second offense, you may face consequences like the ones listed below:
- License suspension for a minimum of 6 months
- Fine ranging from $500-$750
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Enrollment in the New York Driving Program
Avoiding Driving Drunk on St. Patrick’s Day
There are various ways to reduce your risk of getting into a drunk driving accident this St. Patrick’s Day. If you are planning on attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Utica in the next couple of weeks or are planning on celebrating with green beer this weekend, look at these tips on making sure you have a safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration…
Arrange for Alternate Transportation – Make sure you know how you’re getting home before drinking.
Give Up Your Keys – If you are already out celebrating and you have had too much to drink, give up your keys to a friend so you are not tempted to drive.
Eat – Don’t consume alcohol on an empty stomach.
Stay hydrated – Make sure you consume water.
Know the Laws & Your Limits – Make sure you know when to say “when”. Do not consume enough alcohol to become intoxicated.
Be extra cautious on the roads – Just because you are a safe and sober driver doesn’t mean others on the roads are. So, stay alert.
If You Aren’t Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day
If you are one of the many choosing not to drink on St. Patrick’s Day but decide to be a sober driver, there are various ways you can promote safety and prevent becoming one of the unfortunate drunk driving statistics. Be sure to be watchful of your friends who are drinking. Make sure you have their keys and do not let them leave without you. Do not let your friends drink past their limits. Be on the lookout for drunk drivers with the tips listed below. If you aren’t drinking, stick to enjoying the parade and be watchful of the ones you care about.
How to Detect a Drunk Driver…
- Drivers making wide turns
- Drivers drifting, swerving, straddling the center line in the road
- Nearly hitting an object or another vehicle
- Driving at a slow speed
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Constantly braking
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving without headlights after dark
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident due to a drunk driver, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. The People’s Lawyer is ready to fight for you and protect your rights. Contact Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman, knowledgeable car accident lawyers, for a free consultation today.
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