St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of St. Patrick, takes place on March 17.

A public holiday in Ireland, it is also widely celebrated in the UK, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. In fact, it is reportedly celebrated in more countries than any other national festival!

Unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day is all too often linked with an increase in alcohol-impaired collisions. In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is considered one of the deadliest times on the nation’s roads. During the 2015-2019 St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 280 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes.

This year, with many local governments urging people to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many countries still in various forms of shutdown, St. Patrick’s Day is more likely to be celebrated by many in their homes, or virtually.

If you do need to travel, follow these road safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this St. Patrick’s Day:

  1. Adhere to international, national and regional COVID-19 guidance regarding permitted travel purposes and social distancing requirements, including guidance in your intended destination.
  2. If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver and watch that they don’t consume any alcohol. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.
  3. Can’t resist temptation? If you drink any alcohol, don’t drive. Travel home with a sober friend or use public transport.
  4. Step in to arrange alternative transport if you see a friend attempt to drive after drinking alcohol.
  5. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement/ police.
  6. If you’re hosting a house party make sure you have plenty of non-alcohol drinks in stock and arrange lifts for anyone who has been drinking.
  7. Even if you’re not celebrating yourself, look out for those who are. Drive slowly and cautiously through residential areas and close to pubs/ bars where you might encounter impaired pedestrians.

Visit eDriving’s COVID-19 Resource Center for coronavirus-related news, guidance and resources.