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Drunk drivers push their luck

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Friday, March 16, 2012
Posted: 3 am ET

Guinness, Baileys Irish Cream, green beer and other indulgences this St. Patrick's Day can mean the party ends in a car crash. On St. Patrick's Day alone, 32 percent of deaths from car crashes were connected to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

NHTSA has issued a consumer advisory to remind everyone that buzzed driving is drunk driving and that even one drink too many can lead to disaster. Even a simple fender bender can lead to higher car insurance rates and potentially a loss of driver's license if you are found to be over the legal limit.

If your St. Patrick's Day involves alcohol, don't push your luck by driving drunk. NHTSA suggests you designate a sober driver in your group or arrange alternate transportation in advance. Many communities have sober ride programs that will provide free transportation to those who aren't sure they can drive.

If you are hosting a party, remember that you can be held liable for serving alcohol to someone who ends up in a car crash as the result of drunk driving, reminds NHTSA.

Even if you are not drinking yourself, remember that you are likely to be sharing the road with more alcohol-impaired drivers than usual. Report any unusual behaviors of other drivers to the local police, and be sure that everyone in your car is properly seat belted to minimize any injuries should you be involved in a drunk-driving car crash.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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