Updated March 2015
Every year the middle of March brings a little bit of mayhem into everything — the NCAA tournament, spring fever, even the return of the Shamrock Shake®. But the one March event I’m particularly mad for 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 — and often as a result of — the festivities, the reality is that drunk driving is a concern on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and state and local law enforcement agencies take this very seriously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on St. Patrick’s Day weekend from 2009 through 2013, there were 276 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:
* St. Patrick’s Day facts courtesy of History.com. **Population data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.