St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is a popular holiday to hit up the local bars and celebrate with some green beer. With more people out partying, this also means more police officers on the roads keeping an eye out for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Police will be stepping up traffic enforcement this weekend throughout the state of Florida, including the Clearwater area.
Clearwater police will be patrolling the entire city on DUI detail in an effort to keep all motorists safe this St. Patrick’s Day.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will also be fanned out across the county conducting DUI checkpoints.
Officials claim the Sheriff's Office will have a checkpoint set up Friday night and early Saturday at 29582 U.S. 19 N in Clearwater.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is mounting a St. Patrick’s Day Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign in conjunction with state and local governments from March 12-18 to make drivers aware that the luck of the Irish just may run out for them should they decide to drink and drive.
According to the NHTSA, there were 103 fatal collisions on St. Patrick’s Day in 2009. These statistics show that 37 percent of these accidents involved individuals with blood-alcohol levels greater than .08.
The Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton wants everyone to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day this year while exercising safety. Here are a few suggestions to make your St. Patty’s Day bash safer:
• Plan a reliable way to get home before you start partying. Choose a designated sober driver for the evening or reserve a taxi cab to tote you and your fellow partiers around for the
evening. Sober family members, public transportation and walking are other responsible ways to reduce your risk for a DUI arrest.
• Keep local taxi cab numbers with you in case your plan’s fall through. This way you have other options to get you safely where you need to go.
• Contact your local law enforcement if you see any intoxicated drivers on the road.
• If someone appears to be drunk and attempting to drive, take their keys away and make other transportation arrangements. This ensures the safety of everyone.
• Always wear your seat belt. This can be the best defense against a drunk driver.
While driving impaired can result in deaths and injuries, it can also result in jail time, higher insurance rates and job loss. In Florida, a DUI arrest or charge carries serious consequences, including the loss of your driver’s license and demands your time, money and energy to set things straight. Should you be convicted, the penalties get even harsher.
The Clearwater DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton reminds everyone to err on the side of caution this St. Patty’s Day. Remember to have fun and behave responsibly. We want you, and everyone else, to get home safely!
With that said if you find yourself facing a Clearwater DUI or other criminal offense this weekend, contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our Pinellas County office at 727-847-2299 or dial us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529). We can direct you on how to properly proceed with the charges against you.
Happy St. Patty’s Day!