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AAA reminds drivers to be safe and plan ahead before going out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Delaware Public Media

With St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds people to designate a driver before going out to celebrate.

AAA advises drivers to not rely on the luck of the Irish to make it home if they go out drinking at a party or bar-hopping to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

They recommend having a designated driver to ensure they get home safely.

The St. Patrick’s Day holiday period is considered to be 6 pm on March 16 through 6 am March 18. From 2017 to 2021, 272 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes nationally during that time frame.

AAA’s Jana Tidwell says according to Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety the state saw its fair share of impaired driving incidents two years ago.

"In 2022 there were just over 1200 crashes, 104 serious injuries and about 4,600 arrests involving impaired drivers. Of those, 26 crashes, two fatalities and 103 arrests occurred during the St Patrick's Day extended holiday," said Tidwell.

Tidwell adds if you don't have a designated driver - make sure you have a ride-share app on your phone.

Tidwell says a AAA report shows that even though many know the dangers of driving impaired, it hasn’t stopped them from doing it.

"94% of motorists nationwide agree that impaired driving is a dangerous driving behavior, yet 7% admit to having engaged in that dangerous driving behavior in the past month. That is driving knowing that they were likely over the legal limit," said Tidwell.

And she notes sober drivers also have to be on the lookout for pedestrians who might be impaired while walking.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.