Linn County Undersheriff Jim Yon wants to remind people to drink responsibly this St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. Tragically it has become a dangerous holiday on our nation’s roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, almost two-thirds (39%) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly three-fourths (69%) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. In fact, from 2012 to 2016, almost two-fifths (38%) of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) well above the .08 limit, with 269 drunk-driving fatalities total.

Drivers 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 their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

Sadly, all this merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home. The selfish act of drinking and driving can rip people from their friends and loved ones forever. Even one drink can be one too many. If you’re heading out for the Irish festivities, plan ahead and remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Linn County Sheriff’s deputies will be working hard to keep our roads safe this weekend. There will be an open jail bed for those that choose to drink and drive.