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How to stay safe from drunk drivers this St. Patrick's Day

Car accident attorney, Philadelphia, PA

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day is a centuries-old tradition for many residents of Philadelphia. In fact, WalletHub ranked Philadelphia as the second-best city in the United States to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Thousands of people celebrate during St. Patrick's Day weekend, the yearly parade, and on the day of the holiday.

Of course, we can also expect a massive amount of drinking. This will likely start as the festivities commence on the weekend before St. Patrick's Day through the early morning hours after the holiday. With more people drinking comes an increase in drunk driving. Even when police are out in full force looking for drunk drivers, they don't have the resources to catch every single one.

According to federal statistics compiled by scramsystems.com, approximately 269 people were killed in crashes on St. Patrick's Day from 2012-2016. Roughly 69 percent of crash fatalities occurring from midnight to 5:59 a.m. on March 18 involved drunk drivers. About three-quarters of fatal crashes involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

How do alcoholic beverages affect drivers?

Drunk driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people across the United States in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Out of those, more than 1,800 had BAC levels between 0.01 - 0.07 percent, which is below the legal limit.

Even after only having a couple of drinks, drivers can show some signs of impairment. For example:

  • 0.02 percent BAC: Drivers may experience slight loss of judgment, reduced visual function, decline in divided attention
  • 0.05 percent BAC: Drivers may experience a decline in coordination, impaired judgment, reduced alertness, and reduced reaction time

Impairment becomes more pronounced when drivers reach a BAC level of 0.08 percent. Anything greater than that usually involves noticeable impairment, loss of balance, and even the risk of losing consciousness.

Tips for staying safe on St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day should be a fun and safe experience. Those who plan on celebrating this year can help keep it that way by following these tips:

  • If you plan on drinking:
    • Designate a sober driver.
    • Summon a rideshare or taxi.
    • Celebrate within walking distance from home.
    • Spend the night at a relative or friend's house.
  • If you're sober and plan on driving:
    • Offer a ride to any friends or relatives that may need one.
    • Be vigilant of drunk drivers.
    • If you see someone driving dangerously, keep a safe distance and call the police.

If you or a loved one is injured in a crash this St. Patrick's Day, you may be entitled to compensation. The car accident attorneys at The Hanamirian Firm, PC have been handling drunk driving crash claims since 1985. We can help you recover damages, medical expenses, and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. You can contact us online to schedule your free consultation or call us at 215-735-4235.

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