Americans have celebrated their Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day for decades. Sadly, too much green beer can lead to dangerous driving after the celebrating. Over the last few years there has been a dramatic spike in alcohol and drug impaired driving. Over the 2017 (the last year in which statistics are available) St. Patrick’s Day holiday there were 59 fatalities nationwide with 37 percent involving drunk drivers. The most dangerous time to be on the road was the early hours of March 18, when 75 percent of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.
To combat the increased impaired driving around the holiday local law agencies will be stepping up traffic enforcement March 14 – 17, 2019. Officers will especially be watching for drunk and drugged drivers and anyone not wearing seat belts.
“St. Patrick’s Day should be a fun holiday, but we expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions,” stated Patrick Hoye, Bureau Chief of the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. “Whether you’re driving yourself or your friends, make sure you stay sober or plan for a safe ride home. It’s not just about you. There are others on the roads who want to get where they are going safely.”
The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau reminds you, driving while impaired is illegal!