BOISE – It’s a day that celebrates luck and good fortune, but AAA warns that if drivers overindulge in alcohol during St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the odds will not be in their favor.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, 51% of all crash fatalities in 2022 were the result of an impaired driving crash, and 11% of all fatal and injury crashes involved an impaired driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist.

“St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, and celebrations will be happening all weekend.  At any time, driving and excessive amounts of alcohol are a deadly combination,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “As people look to make the most of this weekend, a good safety plan must be a critical part of the equation.”

AAA tips for celebrating responsibly

  • If you’re hosting a party, please have a plan for everyone to make it safely home or spend the night.  Have non-alcoholic options on hand, especially as the evening winds down.
  • Download a ride-hailing app, such as Uber or Lyft, or have a phone number for a taxi service handy, just in case.
  • Select a designated driver before the party starts.
  • Actively scan the road for pedestrians and others who may be out celebrating.  Avoid speeding, and ditch the distractions behind the wheel.
  • Most importantly, if you have any doubts about your ability to drive safely, don’t.

“Impairment leads to poor judgment and delayed reaction time, which puts everyone on the road at risk,” Conde said.  “Let’s celebrate responsibly and end the weekend on a positive note.”