The Dalton Police Department wants to remind you that the Luck of the Irish cannot save you from a DUI.

"The selfish act of drinking and driving can rip people from their friends and loved ones forever," a Dalton Police spokesperson said. 

Officers ask that you plan ahead if you are going to any Irish festivities because buzzed driving is drunk driving.

In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes while celebrating the St. Patrick's Day holiday period.  

That same year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost two-thirds of all motor vehicle crash fatalities on St. Patrick's Day involved drunk drivers. The following day, between midnight and 5:59 am, nearly three-fourths of crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

Between 2012 and 2016, almost two-fifths, or 38 percent, of drunk-driving fatalities during the St. Patrick's Day holiday period involved individuals with blook alcohol concentrations over the legal limit. Total, there were 269 drunk-driving fatalities.

Dalton Police ask that drivers also keep an eye out for pedestrians who appear to have consumed too much alcohol because walking while intoxicated can also be deadly.

"We want our community members to plan ahead when they are celebrating this St. Patrick's Day," PFC David Saylors said. "Whether you are driving yourself or your friends, make sure you stay sober or plan for a sober ride home. Remember: It's not just about you. There are other people on the roads who want to get where they are going safely. Don't let alcohol cause you to be a risk to yourself and others on the road. Drinking and driving is an act of selfishness. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving."

If you do plan to drink, Dalton Police advise that you plan to get a ride home ahead of time.

"If you feel a buzz, you are in no shape to drive," PFC Saylors added. "Please make a plan before you head out for St. Patrick's Day parties. Consider being the sober designated driver for your friends. If you are planning to drink, plan for a safe ride home," he said. "There are too many safe alternatives to choose otherwise. Think before you act."

PFC Saylors recommends the following safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • First: Always remember to plan ahead. You know whether you'll attend a party. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously—your friends could be relying on you.
  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you've only had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely. 
  • Download NHTSA's SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple's iTunes Store for iOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user's location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Use your community's sober ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.

For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.