Take this St. Patrick’s Day message to heart

Staff Report

With each St. Patrick’s Day there is talk of luck, green beer and leprechauns, but one thing worth talking about is how to celebrate safely.

Unfortunately, due to a large number of impaired drivers, holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day have become tarnished as drinking days — a far cry from their original purpose.

Throughout 2015, more than half of Lorain County’s fatal crashes involved alcohol or drugs. Time and time again, local crashes prove that mixing alcohol with driving is risky and even deadly.

The Safe Community Coalition, conducted through the Lorain County General Health District, reminds residents that whether meeting friends at the local pub after work or attending Cleveland’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, if you plan on using alcohol, never drive while impaired. Too many people are driving drunk and killing or injuring themselves and others during holidays.

Sheriff Phil Stammitti said, “Even a wee buzz means you’re too drunk to drive!”

Here are some ways to keep safe on Lorain County roads:

• Don’t depend on luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Designate a sober driver before the party begins.

• Skip the bars and booze altogether — it’s OK to stay sober. There are plenty of ways to celebrate without the risk of becoming too impaired to drive home safely.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 or your local law enforcement department.

• If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, be their lucky charm and help them make other arrangements.

Staff Report