7 Dead; 116 Injured in 2020 St. Patrick’s Day DUI Crashes in California
CALIFORNIA (March 17, 2021) — Don’t expect a leprechaun to suddenly appear and drive you home safely after a night out drinking on St. Patrick’s Day.
The luck of the Irish has no impact on California roadways when it comes to impaired driving. St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most dangerous days to travel in California and the United States, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
So if you don’t have a designated driver with you as you head out tonight, we urge you to schedule an Uber, Lyft or taxi to take you home.
“The only lucky drunk drivers are the ones that get stopped by police before they get into a crash,” said James Johnson, founder of Johnson Attorneys Group. He added that those who elude police risking everyone’s lives and maybe even their own live.
Meanwhile, people who take their chances driving drunk on St. Patrick’s Day ought to consider the many risks. Despite the risk of injury or death, drivers who are cited for drunk driving also face heavy fines, loss of their license and as a result they might lose their jobs. It’s not worth it
That’s why keeping drunk drivers off the road this St. Patrick’s Day is always a priority for the California Highway Patrol. Deputies will not only be watching for drunk drivers, but testing those pulled over for cannabis, prescription medications and illegal narcotics.
St. Patrick’s Day DUI Crash Statistics
Indeed, drunk driving accounts for roughly a third of all vehicle-related fatalities in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nationally, some 327 people lost their lives in alcohol-related collisions on St. Patrick’s Day in 2020.
Additionally, there were 280 people who died in drunk driving crashes between 2015 and 2019 from 6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18, MADD reports. There were 57 were killed just in 2019 alone, according to NHTSA.
Last year on St. Patrick’s Day in California, despite pandemic lockdowns, seven people lost their lives and 116 others were injured in alcohol-related traffic accidents, according to the state. Also, the CHP arrested 67 people for DUI last year.
Bars, Restaurants Opening Up as Covid-19 Restrictions Loosen
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, businesses were prevented from serving alcoholic beverages to customers unless they also ordered food. However, the state has since relaxed some pandemic restrictions on wineries, breweries and bars and this week by taking away the mandate that customers must order food to buy a drink.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people to celebrate the Irish holiday at home to reduce the chances of people spreading COVID-19.
According to a survey of 3,000 consumers by Numerator, 9 percent of those surveyed plan to stay home on St. Patrick’s day this year compared to 38 percent who went out to drink last year.
The CHP urges motorist who witness impaired driving to call 911. If possible, provide a description of the vehicle, its location, direction of travel and license plate number.
Johnson Attorneys Group is a longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). If you have been injured and have legal questions, please contact us.
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