NORWALK — As St. Patrick’s Day descends upon Norwalk Saturday, police are reminding residents to abstain from drinking and driving.
“St. Patrick’s Day is one of America’s most widely celebrated holidays, for the Irish and non-Irish alike. It’s a great excuse to gather with friends and family and make merry over bangers n’ mash and a pint of green beer. Sadly, the night often ends with drunk drivers on the road, which pose a threat to other drivers, vehicle passengers, and pedestrians,” said Norwalk police spokesman Lt. Terry Blake.
In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, from 6 p.m. on March 16 to 5:59 a.m. on March 18. For that reason, Norwalk Police will be out in full force to make sure that if you are behind the wheel, you are sober.
St. Patrick’s Day has become a dangerous holiday on our nation’s roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, almost two-fifths of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The early hours of March 18 did not fare much better. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m., 69 percent of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.
In fact, from 2012 to 2016, almost two-fifths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations well above the .08 limit, with 269 drunk-driving fatalities total.
Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of being hit by a vehicle.
“St. Patrick’s Day should only be a good time for members of our community,” Blake said. “But we need your help to make this a reality. A commitment to sober driving keeps our neighborhood roads safe. Always make a plan before heading out to the festivities. Understand the dangers of drinking and driving.”
Blake recommended designating a sober driver before going out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or getting an Uber home if you’ve been drinking.
“We are asking our community’s drivers to work with us to end drunk driving,” Blake added. “There are too many reliable alternatives to get you home safely. Think before you act.”
Police urge residents to call 911 if you see a drunk driver out on the road.
Residents can also leave tips by calling at Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111, send anonymous internet tips via the Norwalk Police website (www.norwalkpd.com) or text tips by typing “NPD” into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).