The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reminds everyone that Georgia’s zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving remains in effect for St. Patrick’s Day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration travel period for St. Patrick’s Day is from midnight on Wednesday through 5:59 a.m. Thursday.

In 2019 alone, 57 people were killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, there were four traffic fatalities in Georgia during that period. One was alcohol-related. There were an additional 18 traffic fatalities and 3,444 traffic crashes for the entire 72-hour period of March 16 to March 18. Annually in Georgia, alcohol is a factor in one out of four traffic deaths.

Those on the road during St. Patrick’s Day should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety offers the following safety tips and reminders for having a safe holiday if you plan to drink:

  • Schedule a ride with a rideshare service or cab company before leaving for your festivities.
  • Program cab company numbers into your phone ahead of time. Use them.
  • Make sure you fully charge your phone when you go out so you can order a rideshare service if needed.
  • If you aren’t drinking, let friends and family know you can pick them up if needed.
  • If you are sober, offer to drive if someone is too impaired to get behind the wheel.

Reward designated drivers with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.