VAIL - Vail Police and the Gore Range DUI Task Force are reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they've been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver during the St. Patrick's Day holiday from 2006 to 2010.-
"Whether you're gathering with friends at the local pub or attending drink specials at our ski resorts, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely, ride the local buses or call for a taxi," said Officer Nicola Erb, Gore Range DUI Task Force Coordinator.
The DUI Task Force will have 16 additional officers focused solely on apprehending drunk drivers throughout Eagle County this weekend.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person is killed every 51 minutes on average in a drunk-driving crash in the United States. The majority of these crashes involve drunk drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations of .15 percent or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08.-
To prevent these tragedies from occurring, the Gore Range DUI Task Force recommends the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day:-----
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
• If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member to get home safely.
• If available, use your community's free or low cost bus system.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police.
• And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact Officer Nicola Erb, Vail Police Department, at 970-479-2200.