Consumer Advisory: This St. Patrick’s Day Designate a Sober Driver

| Washington, DC

NHTSA 08-15
Friday, March 13, 2015
Contact: Derrell Lyles, 202-366-9550,

'Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving'

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding motorists to put safety first this St. Patrick’s Day and never get behind the wheel drunk. In 2013, 31 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday March 17, 2013).

To keep the public safe this St. Patrick’s Day, NHTSA is reminding everyone that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and urges the public to take the following safety precautions:

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • If you don't have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
  • Don't ride in a vehicle with a driver who is intoxicated.
  • Always buckle up. It's still your best defense against drunk drivers.

If you are hosting a party:

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and keep serving non-alcohol drinks and food.
  • Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving after drinking and get them a cab ride home.
  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
  • If an underage person drinks and drives, parents may be held liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
  • Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to, or host a party where alcohol is available to, those under age 21 could face jail time.

For information on NHTSA's "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving Campaign" please visit, view the agency's Facebook page, or follow the discussion on Twitter at

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