Plan Ahead, Be Safe This St. Patrick’s Day Holiday

Lincoln – State officials with the Nebraska Department of Transportation are asking to keep your friends and family safe this St. Paddy’s Day by starting the conversation, “Who’s Driving Home?”

According to a release from NDOT, buzzed driving is drunk driving.

If you plan to drink any alcoholic beverage, even a watered-down green beer, it’s essential that you plan for a designated driver. In 2018 alone, 73 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over St. Patrick’s Day. For this reason, the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) is teaming up with MADD Nebraska, state and local law enforcement to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving.

In 2018, between midnight and 6 a.m. over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, more than three out of five (62%) crash fatalities involved a drunk driver. In fact, from 2014 to 2018, 249 lives were lost due to drunk-driving crashes as a result of excessive St. Patrick’s celebrations.

Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

Drunk drivers are a danger on Nebraska’s roads and that is why NDOT is encouraging everyone to start the conversation and ask the question, “Who’s Driving Home?” People need to plan ahead for a fun night out knowing they will return home safely.

Drinking and driving should never be combined. It’s essential to discuss “Who’s driving home” in advance if the holiday celebration includes alcohol. The alternative could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians or of other drivers and passengers nearby.