The Lake County Safe Communities Coalition would like to remind Lake County residents that although everyone may be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, no one should drink and drive during St. Patty’s Day weekend.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2006 to 2010. Last year during the 24-hour reporting period for St. Patrick’s Day, 5 out of the 6 traffic fatalities in Ohio were related to operating a vehicle while impaired. Lake County had ten fatal crashes in 2012, six of which involved an impaired driver.
To help promote the use of a designated driver during the holiday weekend, the Lake County Safe Communities Coalition produced 15,000 St. Patrick’s Day-themed napkins with the message “Don’t Push Your Luck, Designate a Sober Driver” that were distributed by police departments to their local bars and restaurants to remind patrons to celebrate safely. Eight Lake County communities are participating in the promotion.
According to Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Chief John Gielink, “While it’s always a positive gesture to visit with the businesses in our community, it is especially nice that we’re paying a call with a valuable safety message this time of year as we approach St. Patrick’s Day. By visiting establishments in our community with an offering of themed napkins provided by the Lake County Safe Communities Coalition, we show that we can work hand in hand with business proprietors in pointing out safety issues to patrons as they travel the roads on St. Patrick’s Day. This not only serves as a reminder to the business owners of the concerns of drinking and driving, but we’re also providing something for them to make visible to their customers. If this helps to create a safe environment on the roads as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, it is truly a worthy effort”.
The Lake County Safe Communities Coalition recommends following these easy steps for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
• If you happen to see an impaired driver on the road, call #677 to reach law enforcement
• Remember that if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make arrangements to find a safe way home
Source: Lake County General Health District