Troopers Say “Don’t Rely On The Luck O’ The Irish,” Plan Your Celebrating Responsibly

Northwest Iowa — If you are heading out to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year, the Iowa State Patrol says to make sure you have more than just the luck o’ the Irish on your side.

This holiday, March 17, 2020, is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year and this, unfortunately, means more impaired drivers on the roads. Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle-related fatalities in the United States. Nationally, in 2018 alone, 73 people (39% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period and 33% of the pedestrians aged 16 and older killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08. In 2019 in Iowa, there were two crashes over the holiday, which killed four people.

To combat the increased impaired driving around the holiday local law agencies will be stepping up traffic enforcement from now through March 17, 2020. Safety officer, Trooper Kevin Krull tells us that they’ll have a dual focus. Part of their time will be spent where the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration is in northwest Iowa — in Emmetsburg.

(as above:)”We’re also going to be still out and about the rest of the areas looking for those that are relying on the Luck of the Irish to get through the OWI checkpoints and traffic stops.”

He says besides watching for drunk and drugged drivers, troopers and other officers will be watching for anyone not wearing seat belts and other violations.

(as above:) “Side With Us is basically the seatbelt, the impaired driving, the distracted driving, and the excessive speed. So primarily those are the ones we’re looking for is excessive speeds, the person that’s going to be weaving and not paying attention either because of distractions or impairment and then we’re also looking for those not wearing their seat belts.”

The Iowa State Patrol says drinking and driving should never be combined. It’s essential to plan a sober ride in advance if the holiday celebration will include alcohol. But if you didn’t plan ahead, Krull says there are still ways that you can avoid breaking the law.

(as above:) “The number one thing is to call for a ride. Or tell someone there I don’t think I can drive. Can you help me out? Find somebody there. There’s probably somebody at the place that they’re drinking that would give them a ride or will help them hook up for a ride to some establishment whether it be a hotel or all the way home depending on whether at on how far they need to travel and that, but number one is let somebody know that you need a ride and don’t be embarrassed by it. It’s the good thing to do. So step up and say hey, I need a ride. I can’t do this if you didn’t plan ahead which — it happens — but there’s always somebody there that is willing to give a ride.”

Krull says the alternative could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers and passengers nearby.

Image by magicksupply from Pixabay

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