Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sue Scheff: Don't Let Your Luck Run Out on St. Patrick's Day

"I'm fine to drive."

Expect to hear this line a lot on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. Known as much for drinking as it is for shamrocks and the color green, this holiday is a fun time to be out with friends, but can be a dangerous time to be out on the road. Too many people are under the misconception that you need to be "falling down drunk" to be too impaired to drive safely. They couldn't be more wrong.

Nearly 12,000 people were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver in 2008. That's about one person every 45 minutes. You can't help but wonder if those lives might have been saved if only people had thought twice before getting behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council are continuing to work together on the "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving" PSA campaign. Buzzed drivers drink and drive, but do not consider themselves a hazard on the roadway because they have had "only a few drinks." BuzzedDriving hopes to educate people on the reality that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving."

With St. Patrick's Day approaching, it's important that drivers be reminded about the dangers of buzzed driving. We need your help.

Get the word out that before going out after work to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, you should be sure to line up alternative transportation: have the number for a taxi, know the area public transportation system or designate a sober driver.

Follow BuzzedDriving on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates and news from NHTSA. You can also visit their campaign Web site to sign a pledge not to drive buzzed, play an interactive game demonstrating how drinking can impair driving and hear a personal story from someone who has been affected by buzzed driving.

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day and remember safety always comes first!

Watch the PSA video and read more on Examiner.

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