What to know about drunk driving and St. Patrick's Day

Despite the increased warnings about drinking and driving that we see around St. Patrick's Day, far too many people will drive drunk that weekend. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there were 252 fatal drunk driving accidents over the St. Patrick's Day holiday from 2011 to 2015.

NHTSA considers the St. Patrick's Day holiday to include the days before and after March 17. They track traffic deaths from 6:00 p.m. on March 16 to 5:59 a.m. on March 18. Not surprisingly, the hours between midnight and 5:59 a.m. are typically the most dangerous.

Drivers and pedestrians are at risk

While we all know that drunk driving poses a danger to other drivers and passengers, it's easy to forget that pedestrians are also at risk. Pedestrians can become drunk driving accident victims in many situations, including while crossing the street, walking to their cars or attending a St. Patrick's Day parade.

Pedestrian accidents and car accidents caused by drunk drivers can result in serious or fatal injuries, including:

  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and amputations
  • Scarring
  • Internal organ damage

The necessary medical care for these types of injuries can be extensive and the cost is considerable. In addition, injury victims and their families may lose income and benefits if the injured person and/or a caregiver cannot return to work after the accident.

People in this situation need to understand their legal options. When another driver's negligence - including driving drunk - causes an injury, the accident victim can seek compensation for financial, physical and emotional losses. Receiving adequate compensation is critical to helping people move forward after an injury.

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