St. Patrick’s Day is a day to celebrate being Irish. Even if you’re not Irish, it is a day to celebrate Irish culture. Whether you are one of the millions of parade spectators on 5th Avenue or someone who decides to wear green for the day, March 17th is considered a day of celebration. Unfortunately, it has also become a day known for excessive drinking, which increases the risk of drunk drivers on the road.
For this reason, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that there will be a significant increase in police presence for the holiday. In an effort to keep impaired drivers off the road, expect to see sobriety checkpoints, more DWI patrols and officers specifically tasked with searching for underage drinking as well as businesses selling alcohol to minors. This crackdown on St. Patrick’s Day has had proven results, as last year over 14,000 tickets were issued by New York State Troopers along with 264 DWI arrests.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) indicates a person has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. This is non-negotiable. So while a person may feel simply “buzzed” after a few drinks, if that BAC number of .08 is reached, it is considered intoxicated under the law. Penalties for a first DWI violation include up to $1000 fine and one year in jail along with having your license revoked for at least 6 months. Even a BAC of .05 (driving with ability impaired) comes with fines around $500 and a suspension or revocation of you driver’s license for three to six months.
If you plan to drink, make a plan for the night. Give your car keys to a friend who is not drinking. Have the information for taxis and uber drivers with you, along with schedules for mass transit. Remember there is no quick fix for sobering up. The body needs to process the alcohol and although the time for that to occur varies with each individual, consider one drink an hour as the average.
No one is saying not to go out and have fun on St. Patrick’s Day. When you order an alcoholic drink however, it comes with a responsibility to keep everyone safe. The drivers who do not take that responsibility seriously put everyone in their path in serious danger. If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident you need someone to hold that driver accountable. Contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C., to fight for the compensation you deserve for your suffering.