The following is a press release from Westfield Police Department:
Like most holidays, Saint Patrick’s Day has become a popular time for people to celebrate with family and friends. However, due to the large numbers of drunk drivers, the day has also become a very dangerous one.
On Saint Patrick’s Day 2009, 37 percent of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, according to statistics obtained from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Additional NHTSA statistics also disclosed that in 2009 there were 103 crash fatalities on Saint Patrick’s Day. Of that number, 47 people were killed in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08 percent or higher.
In response to these alarming statistics, the Westfield Police Department has announced that it will be increasing its Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) enforcement efforts on Saint Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, 2012.
The increased enforcement efforts will include additional police patrols and a DWI Checkpoint during the late evening and early morning hours. The DWI Checkpoint is being considered for one or more of the following locations: Central Avenue, East Broad Street, North Avenue, South Avenue and Springfield Avenue.
“Whether you are celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day by meeting friends at a local restaurant or bar or attending a local parade, you shouldn’t drink and drive,” stated Captain David Wayman, the Westfield Police Department’s DWI Coordinator. “Don’t depend on dumb luck – designate a sober driver before the party begins,” he added.
Wayman stated the Westfield Police Department is offering these simple steps to follow to help ensure a happy and safe Saint Patrick’s Day:
– Plan a safe way home before the party begins
– Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
– If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to ensure you get home safely.
– If you think you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to immediately contact the your local police department.
– And, if you know someone who has been drinking and is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and make other arrangements to help them get home safely. Remember, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk this Saint Patrick’s Day."