PRESS RELEASE : Ride/Drive Safe This St.Patrick’s Day

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Reminder from: GA Department of Driver Services (DDS)/Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program

3/9/2017

Ride/Drive Safe This St. Patrick’s Day

As one of the country’s most popular holidays, St. Patrick’s Day has long celebrated the roots of 34.2 million Americans with Irish ancestry. But with all of that celebration brings an increase in drunk-driving crashes. This year, if you’ll be drinking alcohol, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) and the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP), urges you to keep our roads safe this St. Patrick’s Day- designate a sober driver.

Tragically, March 17th has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. This year it arrives on a Friday, so the potential for drunk driving crashes is even greater. “Please celebrate responsibly by never driving or riding impaired. Using seatbelts and arranging rides for friends who should not drive are excellent ways to ensure everyone arrives safe,” said DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 30 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period nationwide. In fact, from 2011 to 2015, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had BACs well above the .08 legal limit, with 252 drunk-driving fatalities total. And keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink; walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention and coordination puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

GMSP Manager, Tom Komjathy says, “Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in our country, and every single one of those are preventable. The GMSP is encouraging you to make a plan before you head out on the road. Designate a sober driver before you and your friends celebrate. Do not wait until you’ve already been drinking to find a sober driver, and never try to drive/ride when you’re drunk. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Even one drink is dangerous if you’re behind the wheel of a car.”

Tips from GMSP to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day:

  • PLAN AHEAD: Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. Find the name of a taxi company (or two), and keep their numbers in your phone, download the NHTSA SaferRide app, or rideshare.
  • ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. If you’re the designated driver, do not drink. Your friends are relying on you, as are the people with whom you share the road.

Commit to sober driving every day. Not only is drinking and driving a crime that could land you with a hefty court bill and jail time, but you put yourself and others at risk. The consequences are often fatal. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police when it’s safe to do so. If your friend/loved one is under the influence and heading for their vehicle, step in and stop them. You could save a life.

For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

About Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP)

The Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) is a part of the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). In addition to offering rider education and licensing programs, the GMSP also promotes motorist awareness programs, share the road campaigns, and is focused on highway safety issues affecting Georgia motorcyclists. The GMSP directly operates training sites throughout Georgia. GMSP offers low cost, professional training to assist riders in improving their skills with a Basic Riders Course; Basic Rider Course 2 (Formally the “Experienced Rider Course”) and an Advanced Riders Course. For class information and the option to enroll online, please visit http://www.dds.georgia.gov.

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