Officials urge safety this St. Patrick’s Day

DUNWOODY, Ga. — State officials are urging motorists to stay safe when celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day.

“St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated saint’s days in the world, but all too often, it shares that distinction with a far less impressive one. Too many people are driving drunk and killing themselves or others on the road as a result,” Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said in a news release. “Impaired driving is an entirely preventable crime so it’s sad that this trend continues every year.”

Authorities consider the St. Patrick’s Day as running from 6 p.m. on March 16 to 5:59 a.m. on March 18.

During the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day, authorities worked 103 fatal crashes. Of those, roughly one third involved alcohol.

“We want people to celebrate, but whether you’re heading to your local Irish pub or to a big parade, you need to make sure you have a sober driver,” Blackwood said. “Drunk driving not only kills innocent lives, but the financial repercussions will have you wishing you found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

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