(WWLP) – St. Patrick’s Day festivities are a welcome chance to reconnect with friends and family, coming out of the cold winter months. But the holiday is one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk driving crashes.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, from 2015 through 2019, 280 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on March 16, 17, and 18. Fifty-seven people died in 2019 alone.
If you do plan to drink, organize a safe, sober ride home. Even if you are walking, keep safety in mind. In 2019, 1/3 of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal driving limit of 0.08.
Legal penalties for operating under the influence are harsh in Massachusetts. A first offense can potentially land you up to 2 1/2 years in jail, fines of up to $5,000, and a loss of license for one year.
If you are caught with a passenger under the age of 14, your OUI will come with additional child endangerment charges.
“Drink responsibly, tip recklessly (laughs) and be kind to each other,” said Christina Guevin-Gurney, owner of Main Street Bar and Grill. “This industry has been hurt a lot and staffing is an issue across the world right now and just to be patient and kind.”
While people are out celebrating this weekend and supporting local businesses, there are also ways that you can be careful this weekend. For example, Uber will be offering discounted rides as they team up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.