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Keep Safety Top of Mind this St. Patrick’s Day: If You Drink, Don’t Drive

DALLAS — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is reminding everyone to plan ahead for a safe ride home this St. Patrick’s Day, which continuously ranks as one of the most dangerous holidays on our nation’s roads.

“Plan for your non-drinking driver, whether it’s rideshare, a friend or public transportation, at the same time you’re deciding where to celebrate,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “We want everyone to have a good time. We also want everyone to stay safe.”

Between 2015 and 2019, 280 people died in drunk driving crashes from 6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18, including 57 in 2019 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than three out of five crashes involved a drunk driver over St. Patrick’s Day in 2019.

Drunk driving is the leading killer on America’s roads. New data released earlier this month by NHTSA showed 11,654 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2020 – the highest number of drunk driving deaths since 2008 and a 14% increase in drunk driving deaths from 2019 to 2020 despite fewer cars on the road.

“Alcohol-related deaths and injuries are 100% preventable, 100% of the time,” Otte said. “It’s also illegal to drive while impaired by any substance, legal or illegal, and while some people incorrectly believe the myth that marijuana makes people better drivers, that is completely false. Marijuana slows reaction time and the ability to make decisions, and combining alcohol and marijuana is even more dangerous than either by itself.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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