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The original item was published from 3/15/2017 11:29:23 AM to 3/19/2017 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: March 15, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Don’t Rely on the Luck of the Irish Designate a Sober Driver This St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day is March 17, and the Bismarck Police Department is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. The Bismarck Police Department will have officers working special DUI enforcement on March 17.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2014, alone, 29 people (28% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.

“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it. If you know you’re going to drink—whether with friends at a pub or attending a house party—designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” said Bismarck Police Sergeant Mark Buschena. “There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

According to NHTSA in 2014, on average, one person was killed every 53 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in the United States. Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08.

The Bismarck Police Department recommends the following easy steps, for a safe St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
  • Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely;
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police immediately. You could save a life;
  • And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

 “Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk,” Buschena said. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant. Don’t depend on the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day. Designate your sober driver before the party begins. Before you celebrate—designate!”

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