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The Public Is Encouraged To Designate A Sober Driver For St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

On St. Patrick’s Day, 269 People Died in Drunk-Driving Crashes From 2007-2011

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, and The Lackawanna County Commissioners Jim Wansacz, Corey D. O’Brien and Patrick M. O’Malley and their Seat Belt Safety Program are reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 269 people have been senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011.  Those fatalities were preventable.

“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 party – designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” said Kathy Fox, Coordinator of the County’s Highway Safety Program.  “There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”

According to NHTSA in 2011, 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.

To prevent these tragedies from occurring, County officials recommend the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
  • Before drinking, 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.

COLTS will be offering free rides on Parade Day from 8 AM – 6 PM.  The 100 block of Franklin Avenue will be the temporary pick-up/drop-off location until the parade is over.

  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the local police. You could save a life.
  • If you know someone is about to drive while impaired, take the keys and help the person make other arrangements.

For additional information, contact Ms. Fox at 570-347-2358.

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