Every year the middle of March brings a little bit of mayhem into everything — the NCAA tournament, spring fever, even the return of the minty shake at a famous fast-food restaurant. But the one March event I’m particularly enjoy is St. Patrick’s Day.
For me, it serves as an annual reminder of my family’s origins on the Emerald Isle. For most Americans, it’s a celebration of all things green, often including parades, parties and the ubiquitous phrase, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” slapped on all manner of seasonal novelty items.
In addition to the festivities, the reality is that drunk driving may be a concern during all holidays, St. Patrick’s Day included, and state and local law enforcement agencies take this very seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18) from 2011 through 2015, there were 252 fatal auto accidents involving drunk drivers.
To keep the roads safe, many prevention and enforcement programs are employed across the country, including roving police patrols and alcohol checkpoints at various spots to catch drunk-driving offenders. The NHTSA recommends some simple steps to help ensure a safe and festive holiday. They include:
Originally published March 2012.