This Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, and law enforcement in Sweetwater County wants everyone to remember that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol, and Rock Springs and Green River Police Departments are detailing special DUI patrols throughout the holiday period.
Sheriff Mike Lowell and Chiefs of Police Tom Jarvie and Dwane Pacheco all agree: “We want our community members to plan ahead when they are celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you are driving yourself or your friends, make sure you stay sober or plan for a sober ride home. Remember: It’s not just about you. There are other people on the roads who want to get where they are going safely. Don’t let alcohol cause you to be a risk to yourself and others on the road. Drinking and driving is an act of selfishness. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you feel a buzz, you are in no shape to drive.”
Authorities recommend strongly that people make a plan before they head out for St. Patrick’s Day parties. Consider being the sober designated driver for your friends. If you are planning to drink, plan for a safe ride home. There are many safe alternatives to choose.
Sweetwater County law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving.
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
- Designate a sober driver or call for a ride, taxi or rideshare.
- Download Drive Sober Wyoming mobile app at http://www.wygcid.org/Smart_Phone_App.html
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement.
- If you know people who are about to drive or ride after drinking, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app.
- For Android devices, it’s available on Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en
- For IOS devices, it can be found at Apple’s iTunes Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8
SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
Along with this enhanced enforcement effort, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is urging drivers to help keep Wyoming’s roadways safe by calling the Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately (REDDI) hotline number at 1-800-442-9090 to report suspected drunk drivers. Callers should be prepared to provide the dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, its location, and direction of travel.
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular drinking holidays in the United States, and it can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home. In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, almost two-thirds (39%) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The early hours of March 18 didn’t fare much better. Between midnight and 5:59 A.M., nearly three-fourths (69%) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. In fact, from 2012 to 2016, almost two-fifths (38%) of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) well above the .08 limit, with 269 drunk-driving fatalities total. Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
The men and women of law enforcement everywhere in Sweetwater County wish everyone a happy – and safe – St. Patrick’s Day.