Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

March 12, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


St. Patrick's Day has become one of the nation's favorite holidays to celebrate and party. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, along with highway and local law enforcement officials, the Rockland County STOP-DWI Program and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), remind us though that St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation's roads because unfortunately too many people choose to drink and drive.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatal-crash data, during the 2013-2017 St. Patrick's Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 234 lives were lost due to drunk-driving crashes. In 2017 alone, 59 people (37% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick's Day holiday period. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, 2017, three-fourths (75%) of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.

In New York and in all states, drivers are considered alcohol-impaired if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drunk driving can be deadly, and even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgement to make driving unsafe.

"If you are celebrating with alcohol designate a sober driver and tell friends and family who that driver is. We want to encourage folks to turn over their keys to someone who is not impaired. If they don't have a sober designated driver to get them home safely, consider other ride options," said Dr. Ruppert.


  • If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan your safe, sober ride home before you start the party.
  • If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, use a rideshare service, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation, etc. Download the Having a Plan! Download the STOP-DWI mobile app – "Have a Plan" and you will always be able to find a safe ride home or NHTSA's SaferRide app from Google Play or the iTunes Store which helps you identify your location.
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home. If you're hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone's life.
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