MADD: Plan Ahead for a Safe, Non-Drinking Driver Before St. Patrick’s Day Festivities Begin

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When You Drink and Drive, Luck is Never on Your Side

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On a day when many plans are made around consuming alcohol, one thing to never leave to chance is making sure you have a safe, non-drinking driver to get you home safely.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging everyone to keep their St. Patrick’s Day festivities safe by planning ahead for a non-drinking driver before leaving home.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), midnight to 5:59 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and the following morning are extremely dangerous. In 2018, 62% of all traffic deaths between the hours of midnight and 5:59 a.m. on March 17 and the same six-hour period on March 18 involved a drunk driver.

“On a day when many plans are made around consuming alcohol, one thing to never leave to chance is making sure you have a safe, non-drinking driver to get you home safely,” said MADD National President Helen Witty. “We want everyone to have fun, but stay safe by making a plan before heading out. After the first drink, your judgment is already impaired.”

Nationwide, drunk driving killed 73 people in 2018 — 39 percent of all traffic fatalities — during the St. Patrick's Day holiday period from 6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. on March 18. From 2014 to 2018 during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, 249 people died in drunk driving crashes.

Drunk driving is the leading killer on our roads and claimed the lives of 10,511 people in the United States in 2018. Every single one of those deaths is preventable. In addition, driving while impaired by other drugs — legal and illegal — causes devastating and preventable tragedies. With all the options today — rideshare apps, such as Uber, taxis, public transportation or family and friends who have not consumed alcohol — there’s no excuse to drive while impaired.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit http://www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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Becky Iannotta
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