Wisconsin residents are likely aware that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year. Research indicates that this may result in more binge drinking and drunk driving. According to Alcohol Monitoring Systems, there will be a 17 percent jump nationwide in the number of repeat drunk drivers who violate orders to remain sober. Furthermore, violations are expected to be 25 percent higher on March 18 compared to the average daily violation rate.

These results are in line with data obtained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency found that between midnight and 6 a.m. on March 18, one-third of traffic fatalities involve a drunk driver. Between 2011 and 2015, more than 250 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day. AMS has complied several safety tips for those who may be planning to celebrate the holiday by drinking alcohol.

Those who plan on drinking are urged to refrain from doing so until they know how they will get home. If they have a designated driver, that person should refrain from drinking, and it may be a good idea to have a backup plan in case that person is unable to provide a ride at the end of the night. Individuals should also know the number of a local taxi company or download a ridesharing app prior to drinking.

Drivers who are charged with drunk driving may face a license suspension or revocation. They may also face a fine as well as a jail or prison sentence if there were aggravating factors in their cases. An attorney may be able to review a case and create defenses against such charges. Examples of defenses include casting doubt on a police report or the results of a blood, breath or urine test.