St. Patrick's Day is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving fatalities
DENVER, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Colorado is calling on Colorado residents to make a pledge for safety this St. Patrick's Day: pledge to be the non-drinking designated driver for your friends and family, or pledge to not drive after drinking. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 38 people in the U.S. were killed in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick's Day (and the early morning hours of the next day) in 2011, which represents 34 percent of all highway fatalities for that time period.
"The key is to make plans for how you will get home safely, before you leave the house," said Fran Lanzer, MADD Colorado. "MADD urges adults to volunteer to be a non-drinking designated driver, or plan to take a cab or public transportation."
"St. Patrick's Day weekend is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on our nation's roadways as too many people make the poor choice to drink and drive," added Kyle Bachus of the law firm of Bachus & Schanker, MADD Colorado's Statewide Sponsor. "We're proud of our long-standing relationship with MADD, and we hope that everyone celebrating the holiday makes the decision to plan ahead before doing so."
Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable, yet in Colorado, 161 people were killed in 2011 as a result of drunk driving crashes. Nationwide each year, nearly 10,000 people are killed and another 315,000 are injured in drunk driving crashes. On average, 31 percent of all highway fatalities are caused by drunk driving, but this number spikes over holidays like St. Patrick's Day, when people may choose to celebrate with alcohol.
On this St. Patrick's Day, a memorial road sign ceremony will be held to honor and remember Jenna Breen, a victim who was killed by a drunk driver with multiple prior offenses. Jenna's favorite holiday was St. Patrick's Day. Jenna's mother, Gail, and the MADD Colorado staff have been working hard to support HB-1217, a bill that would require vehicular homicide offenders with serious prior offenses to serve 75% of their jail time before becoming eligible for parole. Please contact your Colorado legislator to ask him or her to support HB-1217 (Colorado's House Directory is available here).
MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® is working to prevent drunk driving by supporting high-visibility law enforcement efforts like sobriety checkpoints, requiring ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk drivers, and supporting the development of technology to stop a drunk driver (.08 BAC and above) from operating a vehicle.
For tips on how to throw a safe party on St. Patrick's Day or any time of the year, visit www.madd.org/safeparty.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado