Washington, DC — Mothers Against Drunk Driving is reminding everyone to plan ahead for a safe ride home this St. Patrick’s Day, which continuously ranks as one of the most dangerous holidays on our nation’s roads.

“After a year of experiencing the pandemic, we know that people may be looking for opportunities to celebrate – and that safety may not be top of mind,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “If you plan to drink, do not plan to drive. Think ahead and arrange for a safe ride home.”

Between 2015 and 2019, 280 people died in drunk driving crashes from 6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18, including 57 in 2019 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than three out of five crashes involved a drunk driver over St. Patrick’s Day in 2019.

“Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Even if you’ve had just one drink, please designate a non-drinking driver, take public transportation or call a taxi or rideshare service,” said Otte, who suffered a severe brain injury, a broken neck and collarbone, a shattered jaw, a lacerated liver, two shattered femurs and the loss of her right leg below the knee when she was struck by a drunk driver at age 13.

MADD also reminds everyone that it is illegal to drive while impaired by any substance, including legal and illegal drugs.

“Contrary to what some people think, marijuana does not make you a better driver,” Otte said. “In fact, it slows reaction time and the ability to make decisions, all of which are necessary to drive safely. The risk of combining alcohol and marijuana is even greater than either by itself.”

In 2019, one person was killed every 52 minutes by a drunk driver. Another 300,000 were injured due to someone else’s bad choice.

“Don’t make that choice,” Otte said. “We want everyone to have a good time. We also want everyone to get to go home, and to get home in one piece.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads.  Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.