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Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
Thursday March 17th, 2016 :: 11:44 a.m. PDT


Make a plan before you party: Designate a Sober Driver This St. Patrick’s Day

Make a plan before you party: Designate a Sober Driver This St. Patrick’s Day

Fact: St. Patrick’s Day Is Dangerous

• Widely celebrated across the country, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. The St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18) from 2010 to 2014 saw the loss of 266 lives due to drunk-driving crashes.

• In 2014, alone, 29 people (28% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.

• During post-party hours, between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, 2014, nearly half of crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

• Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in our country, and every single one of those deaths is preventable.

• Pedestrians are at risk, too. Pub crawlers: Keep an eye out for cars. Even a sober driver is a risk if you are drinking and walking. Designated drivers: Be on the alert for impaired walkers who may not obey the street signs.

Plan Before You Party

• Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.

• Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely from the party.

• Download the California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen.

• If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober.

• Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.

Important Things to Remember

• There’s no such thing as “OK to Drive.” Play it safe and never drive after having even one drink. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

• The rate at which alcohol affects you varies and is often based on factors such as alcohol content, body weight, food consumption, and how fast you drink your alcohol.

• Walking home from the bar after a night out partying? That can be dangerous, too. In 2014, 35 percent of the pedestrians killed in crashes had BACs of .08 or higher. Get a sober friend to walk home with you.

• If you see someone driving drunk, call 911 when it’s safe to do so, and give a description of the vehicle to law enforcement. With one third of all crash fatalities in the United States involving drunk drivers, it is your business. Getting drunk drivers off the roads saves lives.

• If you know someone who is about to drive drunk or ride with someone who is impaired, help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. If a friend is drunk and wants to drive, take the keys away. Don’t worry about offending someone—they’ll thank you later.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving…and It Will Cost You

• What does drinking and driving cost? It depends: Are you talking cash, or are you talking your life? Drunk driving can kill you, your loved ones, and other innocent road users. Commit to driving sober every drive.

• The average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn’t you rather pay for a taxi?

• Drunk driving can result in jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car or motorcycle towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. In fact, depending on your line of work, you could be fired for driving under the influence.

For more information, visit

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department
250 Hackett Road
Modesto, CA 95358

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-567-4401

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