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Law Enforcement Encourages Partygoers To Be Safe This St. Patrick's Day

By: FHP; TEAM Georgia; Winnie Wright Email
By: FHP; TEAM Georgia; Winnie Wright Email

Winnie Wright
March 17, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - Bars and restaurants have advertised day long deals for the holiday, but local authorities say, the most important part of your day, is knowing how you'll get home.

"Law enforcement in general, we look at things like St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve, those sorts of things as when people center their celebrations on drinking. Very often, what we are most afraid of is people doing that then getting behind the wheel of a car", says Major James Russell, Deputy Chief for FSU PD.

Local authorties say they won't tell everyone how to celebrate the St. Patrick's Day holiday, but once you get behind the wheel, you become everyone's problem.

"There are so many forms of transportation, so many programs that are available out there, they really just make drinking and driving not an option at all, nor should it ever be."

If you decide to get behind the wheel, TPD says they will be looking out for you. Bars have beefed up security and extra officers are patrolling areas with big crowds. Some officers are specifically targeting DUIs.

Security for Finnegan's Wake in Midtown says they try not to let their patrons get to that point.

"Well, what we try to do is get them to the inhebriated point, and then if we see that they're starting to get there, what we will do is try and give them a lot of water, see if anybody's with them, get them outside, have them sit down, call a cab", says Michael Gilliland.

Major Russell says Nole Cab, taxis, public transportation, and tow and go programs will be available throughout the night...so there is no excuse to get behind the wheel if you've been drinking.

Major Russell also says your best bet is to have a plan. He says if you don't have a designated driver, make sure you have cash in your pocket so you can hail a cab, and if things really get rough, he says local vendors would happy to help you call one.


News Release: TEAM Georgia

(ATLANTA) The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and safe and sober driving coalition TEAM Georgia have paired up once again to make sure Georgia motorists know that if they drive impaired this St. Patrick’s Day, they’ll need a lot more than the luck of the Irish to get out of trouble.

Georgia has a zero tolerance policy toward driving over the .08 blood alcohol limit. GOHS and TEAM Georgia want those celebrating popular drinking holidays like St. Patrick’s Day to have fun with friends and family, but also remember that if they are over the limit behind the wheel, they’ll be under arrest.

Last year, 161 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Georgia. That number has increased by more than 6 percent since 2012. The 9,300 alcohol-related crashes last year also resulted in 5,644 injuries.

“We’ve lost far too many people on Georgia’s roads to drunk driving,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “Don’t be another number on that list this year. Designate a sober driver before you make your first toast.”

TEAM Georgia’s mission is to foster safe and sober driving habits on the state’s roads and waterways. GOHS partnered with them on March 14 to warn people who will be celebrating in Atlanta, that a safe ride home is just a phone call or smartphone tap away.

“We want to remind drivers of the negative things that can happen if they decide to navigate our roads after drinking on St. Patrick’s Day,” said TEAM Georgia Chairman Ron Fennel. “Secure a sober, designated driver before your night begins, or simply call a taxi or use GOHS’s smartphone app so you and your party can arrive home safely.”

Law enforcement patrols will be stepped up during St. Patrick’s Day, and GOHS is also asking partygoers to utilize its Drive Sober, Georgia app. If revelers find themselves without a sober ride home, they can download the app (available on both Apple and Android markets) to search a database of safe and sober ride options in their area. Some programs are free and some are fee-based, but either way, the Drive Sober, Georgia app means there is no excuse for driving home drunk.

There are a few more easy ways to ensure a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day: plan a safe way home before the festivities; designate a sober driver ahead of time and leave your car keys at home; use a taxi, call a sober friend or use public transportation to get home safely; contact police if you see a drunk driver; and be prepared to take someone’s keys away and find them a safe ride home if they’re too drunk to drive.

For more information about this and other impaired driving awareness efforts, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996. TEAM Georgia can also be reached by visiting www.teamgeorgia.net or calling 770-490-1243.


News Release: FHP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There will be plenty of celebrations over the next few days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day on Monday. Florida Highway Patrol troopers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers during the weekend leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, March 14 – 17 as part of the national effort called Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over. In addition to focusing on impaired drivers, the Patrol will be looking for those who fail to wear a seat belt, speed and aggressive driving.


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