FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America date all the way back to the country’s founding. Even though celebrations might look different this year in your hometown, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind you to stay safe by remembering one piece of advice: “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.”
The Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the message. Even one drink, said Sheriff’s Office officials, could be one too many.
“We understand people are looking for a reason to celebrate, and we want our community members to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but we also want to impress upon everyone the importance of safe driving,” said Sheriff Murphy “If you’ve been drinking, make the right choice to find a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”
According to NHTSA, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2019. More than 10,000 people were killed on average between the years of 2015 to 2019, annually. During the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day period, which is listed as 6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18, almost half of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office officials also warned drivers to look out for pedestrians on the streets who may have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could make it easier for pedestrians to get hit.
If you do go out to drink, the Sheriff’s Office reminds you to get a designated driver for the night. And remember, a designated driver is someone who is completely sober, who has not drunk any alcohol at all.