St. Patrick's Day brings a wealth of entertaining traditions: wearing green, eating corned beef and cabbage... and, of course, drinking. Common St. Patrick's Day drinks include green-tinted lager, traditional Guinness Stout, and Irish whiskeys like Jameson. It's fun to indulge, but if you do, make sure that you do not become one of St. Patrick's Day's unfortunate DUI statistics.
Authorities say that there is a dramatic uptick in alcohol-related incidents on St. Patrick's Day each year. In 2009, over one-third of all car accidents that occurred in the US on March 17th involved alcohol. These accidents resulted in almost 50 deaths.
Because of the dangers associated with drunk driving, law enforcement officers set up a large number of DUI checkpoints throughout the Tampa Bay Area on St. Patrick's Day each year. A DUI arrest can be expensive. Some officials estimate that, between fines and fees, each arrest can cost you $5000 or more. A first DUI conviction will result in losing your license for six months to one year. Second and third convictions lead to stiffer penalties. Penalties are also much higher for DUI accidents. DUIs can cause your car insurance rates to increase as well as cost you hundreds of dollars a year.
Protect yourself and others from becoming DUI statistics on St. Patrick's Day. If you are going out, choose a designated driver to stay sober and get everyone home safely. Alternatively, you can travel by cab to and from your destination. If bar-hopping is part of your plan, choose an area where that is possible by foot.
If you are stopped and arrested for driving under the influence, you still have options. If tests were administered improperly or procedures were not followed, you may be found not guilty. Call our Pinellas DUI attorneys as soon as possible. A strong defense can help you stay out of jail and preserve your driving privileges.