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DUI Prevention: Moderation and Education

How to change the ingredients in a recipe for a disaster.

Maewyn Suucat, also known as Patricius the Cleric or St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, was reported to have died on March 17, 493.

Thereafter, March 17 has evolved to be, both inside and outside of Ireland, the day we celebrate St. Patrick’s life which consists of the wearing of green, parades and, in many cases, excessive drinking.

On Patrick’s Day in 2005, almost 60 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities, which occurred that evening and the early morning hours of the next day, involved drivers with a blood alcohol contact (BAC) of .01 or higher and of those almost 90 percent had a BAC of .08 or higher. Operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state.

In addition to the risks involved with getting into an accident and seriously injuring or even killing someone you should know that, as a result of a Department of Transportation grant, DUI enforcement will be increased this St. Patrick’s Day which will result in more DUI checkpoints.

There are a great number of precautions we can take to prevent the needless tragedies that result from drunk driving crashes. The most obvious steps include:

Select a designated driver who will agree not to consume any alcohol;

If you have been driving and your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired get a ride from a sober friend or relative or call a cab;

Report drivers you see on the road who appear to be operating their vehicle while under the influence; and

Insist that your friends not drive drunk and take their keys away if necessary to prevent them from operating their vehicle.

The risks associated with drunk driving are so great and can have devastating life altering consequences which can include: killing yourself or someone else; seriously injuring yourself or someone else; arrest, conviction and loss of your license; and the emotional trauma which can result from these consequences.

Don’t forget: Have fun on St. Patrick’s Day but before you have one drink too many remember that 100 percent of all drunk driving accidents are preventable.

Richard P. Hastings is a Connecticut personal injury lawyer at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP, with offices throughout the state.  He has been named a Connecticut Super Lawyer and is the author of the books: "The Crash Course on Child Injury Claims"; "The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut"; and "The Crash Course on Motorcycle Accidents."  He can be reached at 1(888)CTLAW-00 or by visiting www.hcwlaw.com.

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