The Army Substance Abuse Program is urging the public to help keep
the streets safe this St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday, March 17, and every
day by drinking responsibly and designating a sober driver before
heading to the local parade or pub.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) show over the past five years, 851 people lost their lives in
motor vehicle crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
Of that number, 327 were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver
or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
of .08 or higher.
“St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a time to celebrate Irish heritage
and gather with friends, but it can quickly end in tragedy due to
impaired driving,” said Scott Zaehler, the Fort McCoy Alcohol and Drug
“If you plan on drinking, don’t rely on luck to keep you safe or to keep
you out of trouble. Be responsible and take appropriate precautions.”
The Army Substance Abuse Program recommends the following tips:
• Plan a safe way home before your celebrations begin;
• If you plan to get a ride home with someone else, designate a sober
driver before any drinking begins;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or Family member,
or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to
contact your local law enforcement;
• And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride their
motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other
arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
“Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is an extremely
risky thing to do,” said Zaehler. “If you plan on using alcohol, plan
ahead and look out for your friends too. Remember, friends don’t let
friends drive drunk.”
According to NHTSA research, impaired driving remains one of America’s
deadliest problems. In 2007, 41,059 people nationwide were killed in
motor vehicle crashes. Of that number, 12,998 people were killed in
traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider
(operator) with a BAC of .08 or higher.
To learn more in the Fort McCoy community, call 608-388-2441/5955 or
visit the Army Substance Abuse Program Web site at
(Submitted by the Fort McCoy Army Substance Abuse Program.)