Why you shouldn’t even think of driving after that St. Patrick’s Day party
Throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend, police said they will be out in full force making roadside safety checks looking for drunk drivers as well as other violators.
Both Illinois and Iowa State Police, along with local police departments, said they will have extra officers on patrol during the weekend and through St. Patrick’s Day, which is Tuesday, March 17. Illinois State Police said they would even continue their extra patrol through March 22.
“The Illinois State Police want to remind motorists of the dangers of driving under influence,” said Col. Make Zerbonia. “It could be your life or the life of another that you save by taking the time to designate a driver.”
Police said hosts of parties can be held liable and prosecuted if someone they serve alcohol to ends up in an impaired driving crash. By designating sober drivers to party-goers, keeping numbers to local cab companies handy, serving lots of food, and including non-alcoholic beverages at the party, hosts can help avoid a bad situation.
Some of the push for extra police enforcement comes from statistics of previous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. According to the Illinois State Police, in the last 10 years 30 people have died in crashes on March 17. More than a third of those involved a driver who had been drinking.
The Iowa State Police shared that in 2013, 40-percent of crash fatalities during St. Patrick’s Day weekend involved drunk drivers. That number rose during the “post-party hours” of midnight to 6 a.m. on March 18.
“Over the last four years, nationwide, drunk driving kills on average 68 people each St. Patrick’s Day weekend,” said a spokesperson from the Iowa State Police.
Whatever your festivities are for St. Patrick’s Day, the Loop is offering service for Saturday, March 14 to help partiers get around the Quad Cities.
Starting at 3 p.m., the Loop will run its regular route. Service ends at 3:30 a.m. with the last stop in Bettendorf. Four buses will be in circulation: two traveling clockwise and two traveling counter-clockwise.
The Loop’s season begins again May 1 and continues through October 31. Click here for rider information, including what it costs to ride.