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St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional time of drinking and merriment that comes around every year on March 17. Only once a year can Irish enthusiasts enjoy the color green, leprechauns, shamrocks, pots of gold, green beer and Blarney’s stone. Unfortunately, the day also tends to include over-consumption, binge and underage drinking.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), St. Patrick’s Day is one of the more dangerous holidays as drunk drivers get behind the wheel. And while underage drinking happens many non-holiday nights, an increase in celebrations for holidays like St. Patrick’s Day leads to an increase in underage drinking.
Underage drinking, particularly on holiday’s like St. Patrick’s Day is becoming so much of a problem, that many agencies are seeking ways to deter youth from imbibing alcoholic beverages in any way they can. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recently reported that American youth from ages 12 through 20 drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States. And when underage drinkers do drink, they drink more than adults, consuming more than 90 percent of their alcohol during bouts of binge drinking.
Here are some tips to prevent underage drinking from the National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign:
1) Focus on healthy problem-solving and presentation of facts, not judgments.
2) Keep conversations open and supportive rather than judgmental, mean or embarrassing.
3) Express how boundaries are important.
4) Talk about curfews, friends and expectations.
5) Hold teens accountable and let them know there will be consequences if the rules are broken.
6) Discuss the serious and life-changing consequences of getting caught drinking and driving. Let them know that drunk drivers often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates and other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs and lost wages due to time off from work or school.
It is also important to recognize the facts that buzzed driving is drunk driving, so if you have anything to drink this St. Patrick’s Day or any other day, please have a sober friend, taxi, or public transportation to drive you home safely. Better yet, be a star by being the sober driver for your friends! Maybe this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be that awesome buddy that saves the day by driving your friends home sober.
The bottom line is that too many drivers get behind the wheel and drive drunk. In 2013, one person was killed every 52 minutes in drunk-driving accidents in the United States. That amounts to 10,076 drunk-driving fatalities per year on average.
Safety experts recommend using this party-planning checklist to stay safe on the roads this St. Patrick’s Day:
If you have recently been stopped and charged with a DUI, the consequences could impact your future in very serious ways. For this reason, qualified and skilled representation for your DUI case is absolutely necessary for your case. At the Weingart Firm, we provide the professional services you need to defend against or eliminate your DUI case. Do not wait, every minute counts. Our skilled team of attorneys have years of experience in Arizona DUI law and will work to help you with your case. If you live in the Tempe area and beyond, call our offices to schedule a free consultation with one of our specialized DUI attorney’s today.