How Can I Drive Safely on St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day is a very popular drinking holiday that occurs this year on Thursday, March 17. You might be among the many planning to do a fun pub crawl and enjoy some adult beverages. If so, it would be best not to drive.
Drunk driving accounts for about a third of all car accident fatalities in the United States. Approximately 80 percent of motorists who are arrested on St. Patrick’s Day have a blood-alcohol content that is about double the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
If your plans include driving your vehicle on St. Patrick’s Day, the following could help you to drive safely and avoid a DUI arrest, or worse.
Stay Sober or Find Another Driver
The most obvious way to drive safely on St. Patrick’s Day is to avoid drinking and stay alert. If you do not mind driving your inebriated friends from one bar to the next, you could have a very fun time doing a sober pub crawl.
If you intend to drink, you should have someone else do the driving. When a designated driver is unavailable, you could take a cab or use a ride-hailing service to get to your next destination.
The cost of using a taxi or other paid service is relatively low when you have two or more people splitting the cost. But it could be difficult to get a cab quickly on a busy bar night like St. Patrick’s Day.
Public transportation is another viable option that could be very convenient and very affordable. You just need to stay reasonably sober and watch out for people who might prey on those who have been drinking heavily.
Think Strategically and Plan Ahead
Whether you intend to participate in a pub crawl or have other plans for St. Patrick’s Day, it helps to make a strategic plan to drive to where you need to go. Determining the best way to and from your chosen destinations could help you and your passengers stay safe.
You should have a good idea of which streets are going to be busy. Instead of using busy streets, you might have alternate routes available that would enable you to bypass heavy traffic, drunk drivers, and the police.
You might plan to go to one or more places that are popular and hold special parties for the Irish holiday. If so, you should have a plan for where you are going to park and how to get in and out easily. Parking in well-lit areas improves safety.
Reduce Your Potential Distractions
If you are driving, you should do your best to keep potential distractions at a minimum. You should turn off the cellphone and keep the audio at a reasonable volume.
New Jersey bans any cellphone use by drivers. You cannot even talk on a cellphone while using a hands-free device, unless it is an emergency. Therefore, if someone is trying to reach your group while you are driving, one of your passengers should take the call.
Any passengers should try to act like adults and avoid loud or obnoxious behavior that could distract you. That might be difficult if one or more passengers becomes very drunk.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
An exciting St. Patrick’s Day celebration could be more exhausting than you might imagine. The excitement of being with friends and meeting other people in packed pubs could make you tired and affect your focus while driving.
Also, if you do have a drink or two during the evening, an empty stomach and dehydration could make it easier to become impaired. You need to eat well prior to going out and stay hydrated with non-alcoholic drinks. Juice and water are your best friends.
Some places might offer shepherd’s pie or other traditional Irish foods for visitors. You should take advantage of any free food service offered and order some as well. What you save by not drinking could go toward quality food that helps to keep you nourished throughout the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Guard Your Group’s Drinks
A sad fact is that there are bad people in this world. A busy and popular drinking holiday like St. Patrick’s Day might encourage someone to slip a drug into a drink. That makes it important to guard your drinks.
If you are with a group of people, at least one person should monitor the drinks at all times. If you are going to walk around, you should take your drink with you.
Whether you are carrying a drink or have one sitting on the bar or at a table, you should keep it where you can see it. That is the best way to stop someone from slipping a drug into your drink and possibly robbing you after you stagger out of the bar.
Dram Shop Law Might Apply in Drunk Driving Accidents
Even when you are perfectly sober and abiding by all traffic laws, someone else might not. If a drunk driver crashes into your car, the liability might extend beyond that motorist.
New Jersey’s dram shop law makes it illegal to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Also, it always is illegal to serve someone under the legal drinking age.
If another motorist got visibly drunk at a bar or another establishment that serves alcohol, the owners and operators of that establishment might be liable for damages. If the motorist attended a private party where alcohol was served, the owner of that property also might be liable for damages.
The dram shop act holds owners and servers accountable for enabling someone to become drunk. If that person drives and causes an accident, the liability could be very severe.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Recover from a Drunk Driving Car Accident
If you were seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a car accident because of an impaired driver, reach out to the Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our experienced legal team can help you prove your case and recover full and fair compensation. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.