St. Patrick’s is always a high-risk day for drunk driving accidents. Bars are fuller and people get more inebriated on St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s not only people of Irish heritage who choose to celebrate. Police set up checkpoints, which are excellent for safety but can cause traffic snarls for those who aren’t interested in drinking. Planning alternate paths around the busy drinking sections of your city or town is highly recommended.
St. Patrick’s Day is always high risk, but this year a confluence of events could make it significantly more dangerous than it is most years. There are three particular events aligning, all of which are already associated with higher levels of drinking, particularly in public places. These events include:
- St. Patrick’s Day itself, which draws large numbers of people out to bars and other gatherings, and is a date associated with people drinking more heavily than usual
- St. Patrick’s Day is on a Friday, so there are more people with Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 jobs who can stay out later and drink more knowing they don’t have to wake up for work the next morning
- The first Friday of the NCAA Tournament, which is correlated with higher levels of drinking as people congregate to watch the games and follow their brackets, especially in sports bars
The NCAA Tournament can be problematic in and of itself in many areas, particularly in cities with schools that are in the tournament. Students are likely to drink heavily during the game, particularly the evening and night games. A bad loss might encourage students and alumni to drink more heavily, and heavy drinking can lead to bad decision making.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, the emotional and financial toll on the family is over overwhelming and can drag on for years. If the accident occurred on a holiday or other important date, that date can be forever associated in your mind with that tragic event. Please contact a qualified attorney to help you hold the drunk driver to account so you can begin the healing process.