FLORHAM PARK—St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with parties and parades. The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club reminds partygoers and hosts to celebrate responsibly by designating a sober driver or arranging alternate means of transportation before the celebrations begin.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 851 people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday over the last five years. Of those people, 327 (38 percent) were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
“St. Patrick’s Day parties typically involve a lot of people and a lot of drinking,” says Michele Mount, director of public affairs for the Florham Park-based Club. “If you’re planning to celebrate with alcohol, be responsible. Drinking and driving is simply not worth the risk.”
AAA offers the following tips for safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:
• Plan a safe way to get home before you start drinking. Program a local cab company’s number in your cell phone, use public transportation or designate a sober driver and give that person your car keys.
• If you are hosting a party, keep track of your guests. Don’t allow a guest to drive home after drinking.
• Avoid drinking too much alcohol and pace yourself – eat plenty of food, alternate alcoholic drinks and water or other non-alcoholic beverages and take breaks between drinks.
“Designating a sober driver before you start drinking is the best way to ensure everyone’s safety,” continues Mount. “Remember, the cost of driving impaired is not limited to death or injury, there are also the emotional and financial costs to be concerned with.”
AAA offers Operation Safe Tow – a free ride home for an intoxicated motorist and his or her vehicle in Essex, Morris and Union Counties. To take advantage of this service, call (800) AAA-HELP (222-4357) and follow the prompts for AAA Emergency Road Service.
The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to resident of Essex, Morris and Union Counties.
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