St. Patricks Day is bursting with lively festivities and Irish-American pride, but along with the celebration comes a yearly increase in drunk driving accidents and fatalities.

Every 36 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day, an alcohol-related car accident claims a life.

Ranking as the fourth most popular day for drinking across the nation, St. Patrick’s Day has gained a reputation for dangerous, reckless, and belligerent behaviors, particularly when it comes to the roads. At least 40% of fatal car accidents on this holiday involve drunk driving and 75% of these drunk drivers consumed two times the legal limit according to WalletHub.

With an estimated 33-million Irish-Americans and partiers set to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, the chances for fatal and serious accidents due to drunk and impaired driving are exponential.

Be Cautious This St. Patrick’s Day

For New York residents, there are a few important safety factors to keep in mind this weekend before heading out to your shamrock celebrations:

• Weekend Holidays: St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday this year, meaning more people are likely to be out celebrating the holiday knowing they have Sunday to recover. Drunk driving already increases on Saturday’s, so staying alert and sober on the roads is even more essential this weekend.

• Guarantee of Drunk Drivers: We would all love to say we don’t know anyone who would participate in drunk driving, but some people still believe they are capable of driving when impaired. Know there will be drunk drivers on the road and report reckless drivers to local authorities immediately.

• Sidewalk Danger: Think you are safe if you are walking home drunk? Think again. 60% of pedestrians who are killed on St. Patricks Day had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Impaired walking is just as dangerous as impaired driving, for you and the pedestrians around you.

• Day Drinkers: Some partiers on St. Patrick’s Day make drinking an all day ordeal. Day driving can be equally as dangerous as night driving when someone has been consuming alcohol since 6:00am. If you are trying to find a safer time of the day to drive impaired- there isn’t one.

How to Celebrate Safely

So how do you safely celebrate a holiday that prides itself on the overconsumption of beer and rowdy events? There are plenty of ways!

• Plan Ahead: Planning where you are going, how you are getting there/back home, and how much you plan to drink is often a huge precursor for how safe your night will end. With the increase of crowds and congestion on the roads, it’s also smart to plan a meeting place for your group in case of separation or to gather when it’s time to leave.

• Leave Prepared: Be prepared with phone numbers and apps for safe rides, such as Uber and Lyft, before you leave the house. If you’re going to the parade, bringing extra water and snacks is a good idea to tide you over through extended wait times.

• Stay In Control: It’s okay to drink while celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day, but getting out of control is where problems begin. Severely drunk pedestrians can easily walk into streets, get behind the wheel of a car, or use impaired judgment when it comes to participating in dangerous activities. Make a pact with your group to drink responsibility and not to put all of the pressure on one designated individual.

• Stay Alert: Be aware of who is around you and where you are. Watch out for impaired drivers if you’re on the roads and stay clear from out-of-control groups of pedestrians on the sidewalks. Always look out for cars when crossing the street, even when you have the signal, as drunk motorists may not stop for you.

• Consider Staying In: St. Patrick’s Day brunches and BBQ’s are a great alternative to heading out into the mass crowds of green. Watch the local parades on TV and offer your guests a safe place to rest if they’ve had too much to drink.

Don’t rely on your Irish Luck to get you through the weekend safely. Play it smart this St. Patrick’s Day and don’t take unnecessary risks you could regret.

St. Patrick’s Day Accidents

If you’re in an accident due to a drunk driver this St. Patrick’s Day, call one of our expert attorneys at Siler & Ingber to learn your rights. Our team specializes in personal injury cases and provides free consultations to explore all of your options. Call 877-LAW-4343 to discuss your case today.