Coalition reminds against drinking, driving

TROY — This St. Patrick’s Day, the Miami County Safe Communities Coalition wants to remind everyone celebrating St. Patty’s Day that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.” If you’re St. Patty’s Day involves alcohol, then make plans to get home safe, without getting behind the wheel.

“Don’t count on the luck of the Irish to get you home safe. Be safe this St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re drinking then make a plan to get home without driving,” said Vicky Knisley-Henry, health educator for Miami County Public Health. “Even one drink impairs judgement, so plan a ride early, designate a sober driver, call a taxi, ride share, or use mass transit. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so think ahead to stay safe.”

St. Patrick’s Day is now the second deadliest holiday for alcohol related crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 252 people were killed in crashes on St. Patrick’s Day (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18) from 2011 to 2015.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2015, 401 people in Ohio were killed in drunk driving crashes. If you drive drunk and aren’t killed or seriously injured you could end up paying as much $10,000 for a DUI.

Follow these simple tips to stay safe:

• Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgement, as well as reaction time. If you’re drunk you’re more likely to choose to drive drunk.

• Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, or call a taxi or a sober friend/family member to take you home.

• Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement when it is safe to do so.

• If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

For more information, visit