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Designate a Driver for your Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations

By David Friedman, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the rich history and culture of the Irish. Regrettably, it is also a day when many make the dangerous choice of driving after they’ve been drinking.

From 2008 to 2012, drunk driving claimed 268 lives on St. Patrick’s Day alone—an average of 54 deaths on each St. Patrick’s Day in the past five years.

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Drunk driving is a crime—a crime that can rob families of loved ones and turn a day of celebration into one of mourning.

Safe driving is about personal responsibility. So, whether you’re planning an extended St. Patrick’s Day celebratory weekend, or just an outing with friends and family on Monday, plan ahead for a sober ride home.

Speak out, designate a sober driver, and share— with family, friends, and neighbors—the important safety message that drunk driving kills.

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At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we take drunk driving seriously, and we need your help to make sure that your friends and loved ones do, too.

Please help us leverage the power of social media to warn of the dangers of drunk driving. On Wednesday, March 12, at 3 p.m. ET, we’ll be on Twitter — @NHTSA – sharing stats, tips, and ways to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day without drinking and driving.

To have the most impact in this fight to save lives, we need YOU to join us. Here’s how:

  • Follow @NHTSA on Twitter.
    When you see this hashtag—#buzzeddriving—retweet it to remind your followers that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

And, if you want to do more to fight drunk driving right now, here are a few ideas for tweets to share to get more people involved on March 12 to spread the word and save lives:

  • Don’t rely on luck to get you home safe this #StPatricksDay. Join @NHTSAgov on 3/12 @ 3pmET to talk about #buzzeddriving.

  • Get tips on how to stay safe this #StPatricksDay from @NHTSAgov. We’re joining their Twitter chat 3/12 @ 3pmET. #buzzeddriving

  • 91 people died from drunk drivers on #StPatricksDay in 2012. Save a life: join us and @NHTSAgov on 3/12 @ 3pmET. #buzzeddriving

  • Think a 4 leaf clover will get you home safe on #StPatricksDay? Join us & @NHTSAgov 3/12 @ 3pmET to find real safe ways home. #buzzeddriving

  • No matter how much green you wear, it won’t save you if you’re driving drunk. Follow #buzzeddriving & @NHTSAgov on 3/12 @ 3pmET.

The loss of life on St. Patrick’s Day—a day that should be about joy and celebration—is tragic. It’s also preventable, and it’s up to us to spread the word.

Help us let everyone know: it’s great to don the green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t even think about driving after you’ve been drinking.

Image description: During the fall and winter of 1861-62, Thomas Meagher, an Irish Revolutionary who had immigrated to New York City after escaping from a British prison in 1852, organized the Irish Brigade.
The Irish Brigade was a group of Irish-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War to prove their worth as U.S. citizens. According to historians, the Irish Brigade fought so they could live in a country that didn’t discriminate against their Irish culture and Catholic religion.
The Brigade was made up mostly of Irish immigrants to the Northeast, and they earned a reputation for their bravery in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, including the First Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Image from the Library of Congress.

Image description: During the fall and winter of 1861-62, Thomas Meagher, an Irish Revolutionary who had immigrated to New York City after escaping from a British prison in 1852, organized the Irish Brigade.

The Irish Brigade was a group of Irish-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War to prove their worth as U.S. citizens. According to historians, the Irish Brigade fought so they could live in a country that didn’t discriminate against their Irish culture and Catholic religion.

The Brigade was made up mostly of Irish immigrants to the Northeast, and they earned a reputation for their bravery in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, including the First Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Image from the Library of Congress.

Learn more about Irish-Amercians and St. Patrick’s Day.

Celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month this St. Patrick’s Day

The Irish have contributed a great deal more to American culture than just potatoes, and March is Irish-American heritage month, when we celebrate the contributions of Irish Americans to our nation.

In the 1840s, many Irish immigrants came to America to escape the potato famine that left more than a million people dead from starvation and disease. The immigrants who came to America at this time had very little education or possessions, and when they arrived in America they encountered poverty and discrimination.

These Irish-Americans rose above their hardships and many made great contributions to America by becoming political, religious and union leaders. Now almost 40 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry.

Today many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish and Irish-American holiday commemorating the death, as legend has it, of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.