5 Ways to Avoid an OWI on St. Patrick’s Day

Racine St Patricks day 2021

Don’t Just Get Lucky on St. Paddy’s Day: Plan Ahead

When you think of St. Patrick’s Day you probably think of good food, great beer, parties, and lots of green. But it is also known for OWI – operating while intoxicated. The statistics unfortunately back this up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 252 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes. These statistics were captured during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011 to 2015. Additionally 60 people died in OWI-related crashes in 2016. These shocking statistics demonstrate the dark sides of St. Paddy’s Day. This is why it’s important you plan ahead and put your safety first.

With St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in full swing, we must be mindful that this year’s festivities are particularly special to people. After a whole year of lockdowns throughout the nation, it wouldn’t be surprising if partygoers made up for “lost time.” As such, our OWI lawyers share safety tips below to help you avoid getting charged with an OWI, or worse, getting injured or killed in a drunk driving crash.

Plan ahead to avoid an OWI:

  • Do not drink and drive: It sounds obvious to advise against drinking and driving, but some people think drinking one or two beers and waiting a couple of hours will “sober them up.” However, a breath and blood test may show otherwise. Know that even if you consume a little bit of alcohol and feel sober after a night out, you will risk getting an OWI charge if you get behind the wheel afterward.
  • Always Designate a driver if going out: A designated driver, commonly called a “DD,” is a great way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day safely. A DD stays sober throughout the night, so they are safe to drive their friends or family members home afterward. As such, ensure your DD is someone you can trust to be sober all night long. The last thing you want is to get in the car with an intoxicated person.
  • Call an Uber or Lyft: If designated drivers aren’t an option, you should consider using rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft to transport you to your destination and back home safely. Taking a rideshare to your destination makes it so your car is not with you!
  • Do not mix alcohol with medications: Prescription meds often include warnings against using drugs and alcohol while using the medication. Mixing these substances can create a bad reaction. Often results include impaired judgment, poor coordination, mood swings, drowsiness, dizziness, and more. These reactions can occur no matter how little alcohol was consumed. So avoid drinking entirely while using your prescription medications.
  • Buckle up: Safety comes first, so wear a seat belt at all times while in the vehicle. Whether you are getting a ride home from a wild night out or driving yourself home, wear your safety belt to best protect yourself from getting injured or killed in a car crash.

Did you or a loved one get an OWI?

Unfortunately, following all the tips above does not guarantee you will avoid an OWI charge this holiday. Racine and Kenosha Police officers are well-aware of what St. Paddy’s Day parties could lead to, which is why they work to identify and arrest OWI suspects as soon as possible. If you ended up in an unlucky situation, allow our Racine and Kenosha attorneys to be your first line of defense. To discuss your situation with us, contact us online or at (262) 632-5000!



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