PennDOT Urges Drivers, Pedestrians to Stay Safe During Upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), reminds residents not to rely on luck to get home during Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations involving alcohol, but instead plan to have a sober, designated driver, take a taxi, or arrange for public transportation.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a time to honor the Irish heritage shared by many, but it has also become known for celebrations that often involve alcohol consumption. Holiday revelers should decide in advance whether they will drink or drive, as it is unsafe to do both.

To help deter impaired driving, state and local police throughout Pennsylvania will be participating in an enforcement initiative from Saturday, March 11 to Saturday, March 18.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that Saint Patrick’s Day can be one of the most dangerous times to be on the road due to the number of impaired drivers.

According to NHTSA 2015 data, during the Saint Patrick’s Day weekend post-party hours of midnight and 5:59 AM, nearly a third of crash fatalities nationwide involved drunk drivers.

PennDOT reminds motorists that buzzed driving is drunk driving, and, despite the myths, only time can help an impaired person become sober. Those planning to celebrate should arrange their trip home before having their first drink.

The NHTSA SaferRide App is an option to assist the public with planning their ride home. It is available for free download on iPhone and Andriod devices. It helps users call a friend, reach a taxi service, and determine their current location.

Pedestrians are not immune to the dangers of impairment. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention can put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Parade goers and pub crawl participants should maintain safe pedestrian habits, including keeping an eye out for cars, using provided sidewalks and crosswalks, and obeying street signs.

For more on information impaired driving and pedestrian safety, visit

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