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Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

Don’t Push Your Luck This St. Patrick’s Day

Nationally in 2005, 59 percent of all traffic fatalities that occurred during the evening of St. Patrick’s Day to the early hours of the following morning, involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .01 and higher.  Of those, 89 percent involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.  This year, the potential risk may be even greater since St. Patrick’s Day festivities will take place on a Saturday night.

That is why The Connecticut Department of Transportation is partnering with State and local law enforcement agencies throughout the State to warn motorists that drunk driving will not be tolerated not only on St. Patrick’s Day, but any other day as well.

Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state, but too many motor vehicle operators are still not getting the message.  According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.3 million people across our nation were arrested for driving under the influence during 2005. 

There are many things we all can do to prevent the needless tragedy that results from drunk driving crashes.  Always designate a sober driver before the party begins and never letting friends drive drunk are just two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving.  Other very important tips include:

·        Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;

·        If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;

·        Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;

·        And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving impaired can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, big attorney fees, unpaid time away from work, and dozens of other expenses.

In Connecticut, driving is a privilege – not a right.  Being arrested for driving while under the influence is a guaranteed way for you to lose your driving privilege.  Drunk driving is a serious crime that costs people their lives and often causes life altering injuries.

No matter what you drive—a passenger car, pickup, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle—if you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. So, this St. Patrick’s Day, don’t push your luck. Remember, Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

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