FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 14, 2023
Contact: Jessica Cowardin
Designate a Sober Driver for March Celebrations
Plan Ahead for Safe St. Patrick’s Day, NCAA Tournament
RICHMOND - With St. Patrick’s Day and the start of the NCAA basketball tournament aligning this week, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) urges revelers to plan ahead and celebrate responsibly.
Local law enforcement will be out in full force looking for drunk drivers, whose behavior poses a deadly threat to their own lives and those of other innocent road users. If you get caught, you face the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, jail time, attorneys’ fees, court costs and many other unexpected expenses. Designate a sober driver if you are planning to celebrate by drinking alcohol this weekend. Other options for a safe ride home include using public transportation, a taxi service or a transportation network company such as Lyft or Uber.
While walking instead of driving may be another transportation option, be mindful of impaired walking. In 2022, 34 pedestrians who had been drinking were killed in crashes. Over the past three years, 26% of the pedestrians killed in Virginia crashes had been drinking prior to the crash.
“Before you have your first drink, make a plan for a safe ride home. There are plenty of options, but making a choice before your judgment is impaired is key,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford. “Alcohol-related crashes are 100% preventable. Planning ahead is the best way to get home safely.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 62% of people who died in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers in 2020 were the alcohol-impaired drivers themselves; 38% were passengers of the alcohol-impaired drivers, drivers or passengers of another vehicle, or nonoccupants such as pedestrians.
On the week of St. Patrick’s Day in 2022, there were 138 alcohol-related crashes, 72 injuries and five preventable deaths in the Commonwealth.
A list of DMV-approved transportation services is available on the agency’s website. And Sober Ride programs will be offered by our partners Drive Safe Hampton Roads and Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) for St. Patrick's Day. For more information visit: drivesafehr.org/757soberride and wrap.org/soberride/