Home Blog Drunk Driving Accident All About St. Patrick’s Day Road Dangers

All About St. Patrick’s Day Road Dangers

By Eugene Bruno on February 10, 2023

Every year on March 17, millions of Americans turn out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. Along with shamrocks and the “ wearing of the green,” this is a time for parades, festivals, music and dancing, corned beef and cabbage, green beer, parties, and pub crawls. St. Paddy’s Day is a popular drinking holiday, and that makes it one of the most dangerous days to be on the road.

St. Patrick’s Day Crash Statistics

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. In 2022, 54% of American consumers planned to celebrate this holiday, and 80% planned to wear green, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). These celebrations often involve drinking at bars, pubs, and private parties, and that can have deadly consequences:

  • In 2020, 36% of crash fatalities from 6 pm on March 16 to 5:59 am on March 18 involved a drunk driver, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • 287 people died in drunk driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2016 to 2020.

How People Can Get Hurt on St. Paddy’s Day

Deadly accidents can happen when people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day drink and drive. On average, one person was killed in an alcohol-related crash every 45 minutes in 2020, according to NHTSA. Pedestrians are also vulnerable on this holiday, particularly in pub crawls that involve crossing busy streets when drunk drivers are more likely to be behind the wheel. Crowd surges can be a risk where people gather in large groups, as with St. Patrick’s Day parades.

How to Stay Safe on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Paddy’s Day is one the biggest drinking holidays of the year. If you plan to celebrate, the following tips can help keep you safe:

  • Arrange for a safe way home before you start drinking. Have a designated driver in your group, arrange for a sober friend or family member to pick you up, or arrange for a taxi or rideshare at a set time and location.
  • Do not get behind the wheel of a car if you are even slightly impaired, and don’t allow your friends to drink and drive. Never ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • If you are sober and driving, stay alert and watch out for drunk drivers and drunk pedestrians.
  • Wear a seatbelt to reduce the risk of catastrophic injuries if a drunk driver hits you.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Choose a less traveled route with fewer vehicles to lower risk of a crash.

Legal Consequence of Drunk Driving on St. Patrick’s Day

Police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers during this holiday. California imposes serious penalties for drinking and driving. Punishment for a first-offense DUI may include a fine of $390 to $1,000, up to three years of probation, and mandatory completion of an alcohol program. Drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher can be charged with DUI.

How a Lawyer Can Help

If you have been hit by a drunk driver on St. Patrick’s Day, you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys can help you pursue damages for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. We can investigate your accident to determine fault and liability, build a strong case based on the facts, negotiate skillfully on your behalf, and fight for your rights in court if necessary.

Contact Eugene Bruno & Associates at (619) 209-6066. We have a 99.7% success rate, with tens of millions of dollars recovered for our clients.