St. Patrick’s Day: A DUI Nightmare
Every year, we observe the death of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, on March 17th, but on the weekend that follows, we do more than observe, we celebrate. We hold parades, host parties, eat Irish foods, listen to music, dance, and wear a lot of green. Most importantly, a lot of people drink alcohol. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day is the country’s third-most-popular drinking holiday, behind only New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras. This isn’t a bad thing until we get behind the wheel of our cars before we sober up. This may seem like an unimaginable thing to do, but St. Patrick’s Day is notorious for the amount of DUI accidents and deaths that occur every holiday weekend.
In 2019 alone, there were 57 DUI-related deaths over the holiday weekend, and before that, there were 73 in 2018. DUI-related accidents numbers can be inaccurate due to how many aren’t reported. These numbers may seem small, but when there are so many resources and reasons not to drive drunk, the number shouldn’t be more than 0.
Here are some ways to avoid a DUI or a DUI-related accident, and why you should use them. Having a plan for this holiday can only help.
How To Avoid A DUI
DUI stands for driving under the influence. You avoid one by either not drinking or not driving. On this holiday, it’s guaranteed that many people will be drinking to celebrate, so here are some ways you can avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. It might seem redundant, but it’s always a good idea to reiterate the good ideas that people forget about.
Pick a Designated Driver
It might seem unfair that one person doesn’t get to drink, but it’s a matter of safety. When you have someone who volunteers to be the designated driver, you have someone who volunteers to be sober. They not only can get everyone home, but they can also watch out for you while you’re out drinking and partying. They can make sure no one becomes a victim of unsavory types or gets hurt. Then when you’re done partying, your designated driver should have no issues driving home.
Set Up Uber
Sometimes it’s expensive, but the money is worth saving your life. Uber, Lyft, and other driving services are all already prepared to drive drunk people home so they don’t hurt themselves or others. Get the app, schedule your trips, and get you and all of your friends home safely.
Drink at a Friend’s or at Home
If you drink at your friend’s or at home, you don’t have to drive anywhere. You remove half of the issue this way because everyone can stay until you’re all sober, or you can stay over into the morning. This should even be more fun because where a bar closes and the party ends, you can celebrate as long as you want.
The Consequences of a DUI
If you need encouragement to make sure you don’t drink and drive this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, consider the life-changing consequences of getting caught. These consequences extend to your money, your freedom, your future, and your health.
Money can be a powerful motivator. If you get into an accident and you’re charged with a DUI, you’re vulnerable to criminal charges and civil suits. You’ll have to fight against the criminal charge to avoid jail time and legal fines. Then you’ll likely have a civil suit if you hit someone or their car. You’re already responsible for the damages to their property, but they can sue you for endangering their lives and forcing you to pay them more than their property was worth. On average, all the legal fees for a DUI–assuming you win both cases–can be around $10,000. Is $10,000 a cost you want to pay for a night out?
But let’s say you don’t beat your criminal case. Then you can go to prison from 48 hours to up to 5 years, depending on your history and the damage you caused while driving under the influence.
One of the more minor punishments for a DUI is losing your license. It’s minor compared to prison time, but it can uproot your whole life. This relieves you of the ability to find work or keep a stable job. Your whole life and career can be turned upside down because all future potential employers will know that you’ve been charged and tried for a DUI.
Being Hurt or Hurting Someone Else
More important than anything else, driving under the influence can lead to someone getting hurt. It can be you, it can be your friends in the car, or it can be the people you hit. This can be a concussion, a broken bone, paralyzation, or even death. The spectrum is endless, but is your life worth it? Is someone else’s life worth getting an uber or drinking at home? The answer is no.
Contact the DUI Attorneys at MKPV Law
If after all this, you still drink and drive this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you’re going to need a DUI attorney. Mazzoni Karam Petorak and Valvano fights for second chances and your rights. You’ll need an attorney to survive and we have the experience to lower your sentence or even prove you not guilty. All you need to do is contact us.
Those who are the victims of drunk driving deserve representation just as much, if not more. Our personal injury attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak and Valvano can help you get the compensation you deserve if someone hits you while they were driving under the influence. Contact us for help.