As a new to the United States college student, I was intrigued by everyone’s love for St. Patrick’s Day. Green beer, shamrocks, four leaf clovers! What’s not to love? I attended a school run by an order of nuns from Ireland as a kid in England. Back home St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in a very low key way…we celebrated mass on St. Patrick’s Day.
If you are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a day of community and celebration. My first experience with St. Patrick’s Day was green beer at a frat party — as a college student in Pennsylvania. I was not then and am not now a beer drinker, but there is something infectious about seeing people celebrate with a green beer!
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s not the luck of the Irish that will keep the roads safe. It’s planning now for a safe and sober way home. Are you headed out with friends after work this Wednesday to celebrate the holiday? No? Well when you and your family are on the road headed to choir practice, a t-ball game, or coming home from school, you may be sharing the road with those returning from a fun St. Patrick’s Day event. It’s time to spread the word about the dangers of buzzed driving and to remind people that Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving, and the best way to stay safe is to plan ahead.
Let’s remind everyone about the importance of remembering to:
- Designate a sober driver before you leave for your event.
- Be ready to take alternate transportation such as a bus or taxi. Have the phone number of a taxi service stored in your phone before you leave for the party.
Even if you will not be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, keep in mind that in 2008, 1,179 people in other vehicles were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. And for those who don’t plan on over-indulging, a buzzed driving crash looks the same as a drunk driving crash.
Global Influence is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council as they continue their efforts with the Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving PSA campaign. Buzzed drivers drink and drive, but do not consider themselves a hazard on the roadway because they have had only a few drinks. The campaign hopes to educate people that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
To learn more about the impact buzzed driving can have on a life, please watch this important video about the financial and personal repercussions of getting a DUI: http://buzzeddriving.adcouncil.org/sign.php#video
Remember: Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving. Plan ahead and ask your loved ones to do the same.