By: Salina Estifanos
On this day, March 17, 2017, we celebrate a popular, sought out holiday—St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day holiday has long standing tradition to the roots of millions of Americans with or without Irish ancestry. But all-too-often, the celebration can turn deadly because of impaired driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) completed a study that showed 1,716 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Maryland between the years of 2003-2012. About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. The Interstate 495 Beltway in Maryland, has a picture posted that currently reads, “WEAR SHAMROCKS NOT HANDCUFFS DRIVE SOBER”
Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws in place to protect the public from drunk drivers. Drunk driving laws make it illegal nationwide to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) OF 0.08%. For people under 21, there are “zero tolerance” laws that make it illegal to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. The legal drinking age of 21 and over are in place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For many popular events that take place in the United States, such as St. Patrick’s Day, there will be sobriety checkpoints that will allow police to briefly stop vehicles at specific, highly visible locations to see if the driver it impaired. Breath tests may be given if a police officer has any reason to suspect a driver is intoxicated.
There have been ongoing mass media campaigns to spread the message about the physical and legal dangers of drunk driving. Schools have taken it upon themselves to also teach teens the risk of driving while drunk or driving with drunk drivers.
If you choose to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, please be safe. Have a designated driver, or use Uber/Lyft, the Metro Bus or Train. Also, check to see if your local transportation companies are offering vouchers for the evening or low cost rides. Be safe and make sure driving arrangements are made in advance. Our firm wants to remind you, along with the State Highway Administration to “WEAR SHAMROCKS, NOT HANDCUFFS, DRIVE SOBER.”
If you believe you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of drunk driver, contact GDH Law immediately. One of our attorneys can evaluate your case and investigate whether medical error may have caused your injuries. As always, your evaluation is free and we do not get paid until we win on your behalf.
Contact us at 301-769-6835 or online at gdhlawfirm.com.